Young, Black Girls, and Missing

Commentary by Mikayla Henderson. Photo courtesy of Fox News.

APRIL 11, 2017: In our city, there has been an increase in the number of missing young Black girls. This makes me feel angry, fearful, concerned and curious.  It makes me angry because I do not understand why people would want to take someone’s child and because children are harmless.  It makes me fearful because it could be me or someone I know and care about like my best friend, cousins, neighbors, or classmates.  I feel concerned because this is happening a lot lately in my city and also around the world. It makes me curious because I do not understand why these things are happening.  Being a good student is challenging but trying to stay safe in Washington, D.C. is more challenging now because I know that I am a target.

Why are Black girls going missing? Did they run away? Some children are not happy at home.  Maybe they are lost. It is possible that they may have missed their stop on the bus or train and do not know where to go. Maybe they were taken. There are some bad people in the world. I wonder why would someone want to kidnap a child. Adults are supposed to help children.They are supposed to help children stay away from danger not put them in more danger.   

What is our community doing to help? My family and I attend Shiloh Baptist Church of Washington, D.C. My youth minister is in charge of the social justice ministry. He thought it would be a good idea to set up a public display around the building.The goal of this display is to bring awareness to the recent reports of missing young black girls. My mommy is currently doing research on the same topic in her classes. She’s using her research to help inform the girls in her youth mentoring program. I find it inspiring that she is trying to educate more people instead of just keeping the information to herself.  My school can help by starting an after-school club for girls to vent about all the problems they may have—a safe place where we can talk about how we are feeling.  

D.L. Hughley is a comedian and he made a good point when he said, “the FBI announced that they found a missing football jersey, but there has been very little said or done about finding the missing girls in our community.”  Is it because the community does not care about young black girls?

Mikayla Henderson is a 6th grade scholar at Friendship Woodridge Academy.