Los Angeles — For the longest time, Black people, especially Black women, have been underrepresented in awareness when they go missing. According to the Black and Missing Foundation, 38% of all missing children reported in the United States are Black. Due to this, many Black children do not receive the Amber Alert or media coverage saying that they are missing.
Also connected is the fact that many Black women and girls are at a higher risk of being physically harmed and trafficked. This is a tragic reality that must be stopped.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed a bill called SB 673, creating an “Ebony Alert.” This alert will join the Amber Alert and Silver Alert to notify people about missing Black youth once reported to the local police department. This will give publicity and coverage to help aid these missing youths and safely bring them home. Just like Amber Alerts, this would also create a notification on one’s phone in order to alert for a missing Black person. Finally, due to these alerts, the media will work together to get the word out about the missing Black youth.
Honestly, I don’t know how anyone can be opposed to this. While in school, I learned about the “missing white woman syndrome,” created by the late journalist Gwen Ifill. It’s about the media’s perceived borderline obsession with cases of missing White girls and women. Due to this, many people of color, and especially Black, are underrepresented in this news.
While the Ebony Alert should have been created sooner, especially nationwide, or at least have been connected to the Amber Alert, I am happy to know that we can be one step closer to finding more missing Black people.
Zipporah Pruitt, (she/her) is an L.A. homegrown journalist, who covers entertainment and culture. Follow her on X and Instagram: @zippzapps.
Edited by Nykeya Woods