The HBO documentary nails why America neglects missing blacks
New HBO Documentary Series Follows The Lions and Missing Persons FoundationIts efforts over a decade ago to locate missing blacks and draw attention to their disappearances. It also explores the media’s neglect of these cases – what has become a favour It’s called “Missing White Woman Syndrome”.
The term was first coined by the late journalist Gwen Eavil at the Unity: Journalists of Color conference in 2004. During the conference’s “national security coverage” session, Avil – between laughs – note “If a white woman is missing, she will cover that every day.”
The “black and missingA documentary series—in addition to revisiting the disappearances of Pamela Butler, Tamica Huston and Keshai Jacobs, among other rarely covered cases—examines why this is so.
Vince Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, says in the second episode of the four-part series.
Warren also noted that the normalization of dehumanization and violence against blacks in entertainment media dates back to the 1915 film “The Birth of a Nation” and to the controversial and long-running reality series Cops.
“If you have been bombarded your whole life with messages and pictures of poor, frustrated, outlandish and dangerous black people — it is not surprising that when a black person is in distress, missing or murdered, it is not so much of a problem from the white community,” the journalist said. “Because they don’t think we have much to lose.
“When we see in the media terrible things happen in black communities, a lot of people think that black people are basically accomplices in the things that happened to them.”
The consequences of this indifference greatly hindered black families searching for their loved ones.
Janelle Johnson Dash, her daughter Michelle Nicole Diamond Green Missing in 2011, she shared the experiences she faced trying to gain media attention for her child’s case. Her story highlights how important this coverage is.
“It’s not easy to have a missing child of color,” Johnson Dash told the filmmakers.
While many of the Bronx family’s media efforts were fruitless, one successful contact eventually brought their daughter back. After getting Whoopi Goldberg’s attention, Greene’s parents went on Goldberg’s daytime talk show, “The View,” to discuss their daughter’s case. Fourteen minutes after their appearance, they received an anonymous tip and were reunited with their daughter.
Earlier this year, notes surfaced about the social media personality’s ongoing coverage Gabriel PettitoHis disappearance and later death raised awareness of the imbalance in coverage and promised greater media accountability for coverage of missing black cases. The case of the white young woman and her missing and dead white fiancé has now been widely covered on media websites for several months.
“Black and Missing” is available to show on HBO.