Black Girls Are Going Missing Everyday, And Nobody Is Doing Anything About It

I have been seeing many posts about black girls going missing. Usually, they’re around my age and from my area, too. Recently, girls have gone missing from the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) and many parts of New York, such as the Bronx. Yet there is very minimal media coverage about them, I don’t think it’s much of a coincidence either. It seems like it’s a part of a darker epidemic.

An article from Newsone noted that over 64,000 black women were missing in the United States in 2014. It’s pretty obvious that the number has only gone up since many of these cases have been unsolved. Why isn’t anybody making a bigger deal about this? Is it because they are black women? Missing white women have induced national searches, but when it comes to black women, people are silent.  Nearly 40 percent of those who have disappeared are black according to the National Crime Information Center. 

Many people see these young girls as ‘grown’ when they go missing, so their disappearance is often associated with crime. The child is assumed to be involved in something illegal. Classism is to blame for this idea that missing people from low-income neighborhoods are involved in crime. So where are these young girls? There could be numerous explanations for their disappearances, whether it be human trafficking, rape, murder or running away. You thought human trafficking was just a foreign thing? It’s actually common in the United States and cities like D.C. are notorious for it.

In 2012, a woman by the name of Kandy began posting ads on the internet offering sexual services from young girls. Kandy would negotiate prices and have the young girls and other sex workers go to a Northwest D.C. location to engage in the sexual acts. Two of her workers, 16 and 19, knocked on the door of a hotel room, most likely anticipating another sexcapade. They opened the door to see Members of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force waiting for them. The teens both told their stories to authorities saying that “Kandy”  and another adult, named ‘Stacks”, traveled around with them throughout D.C. to provide sex to older male clients in exchange for money. They would drug the girls between each visit. Dominique Emanuel Bell aka “Stacks”, then 22, was sentenced to seven years in prison and Candice Ponder aka “Kandy”, then 26, was sentenced to four years.

Could this be the reason why young black girls are currently disappearing all over D.C., New York and Atlanta at an alarming rate? Further, why aren’t the police doing anything about it? Maybe because some are in on it. In December 2013, Linwood Barnhill, then 47, resigned from the D.C. police department after being arrested for ‘pimping’ two girls in D.C., ages 15 and 16. 


Human trafficking is a $32 billion business in the United States. It is modern day slavery where victims are forced into the sex trade. These young girls are being lured and forced to become sex workers. It isn’t as simple as picking up someone off the street, they build trust with the victims. Most of the perpetrators are usually men in their 20’s or 30’s, sometimes older. They usually choose girls with low self-esteem and feed them compliments to manipulate them. The even go as far as trying to act as a father figure. Once that trust is gained, they start asking the young girls for favors. That favor would be selling themselves to multiple people. Other ways they lure victims is through fake jobs like the one below.

This girl explains how she was almost a victim through this thread:

 

Most recently, what caught my eye was a girl missing right where I’m from in Baltimore. I thought to myself, maybe I could be next? I could be walking by myself and someone could kidnap me. Her story seems to be a very twisted and confusing one.

A Twitter user started a thread in an attempt to find Kennedi’s whereabouts, and many other users joined in. They brainstormed to find ways to contact her and help her escape, things that cops probably weren’t doing.

It’s odd that Twitter users and people on social media are raising more awareness of these missing black girls. Every day is a reminder that the world certainly doesn’t care about black bodies. You scroll on your timeline and every single day there’s a new black girl missing, usually a teenager. It’s scary and makes you wonder if you could be next. Police and the media aren’t putting enough spotlight on these disappearances, and that’s why many of them will forever go unsolved. We have to continue putting pressure on the media to talk about this.

 

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Evelyn V. Woodsen
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Evelyn Atieno is a sometimes journalist who enjoys binge watching Gossip Girl every other month. She has been featured in MTV,Business Insider, Huffington Post and The Baltimore Sun

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