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Monday, June 20, 2011


Lacey Peterson, Natalee Holloway, Polly Klaas, Elizabeth Smart. All missing person cases, all white. You recognize their names immediately. Elizabeth Jane Smallwood, Tamika Huston, Phylicia Barnes, Evelyn A. Shelton, Brittany Renee Williams, all missing persons cases, all black. Have you even heard of these cases? Some of which are part of  cases that are linked to several other missing black women, some who sadly have been found dead. Some currently open.

Take the case of 16 year old Phylicia Barnes, who went missing in late December 2010, and was found dead on April 20th. Her case though publicized on Good Morning America did not garner the media attention that famous missing person cases like Peterson, Holloway, Klaas or Smart's did. Phylicia Barnes who was a straight A student and had aspirations of becoming a child psychologist went to visit her sister in Baltimore and went missing a few days after Christmas, it was not until three weeks later that this case made national headlines. Sadly Philica Barnes was found dead 4 months later under suspicious circumstances. When Holloway went missing the media was quickly involved within a few days after her parents had flown to Aruba. She is still making headlines today. Her mother even has a show dedicated to helping other families of missing people.

It has been my opinion that when a person of color, including children goes missing it is not as big a deal to the national media. In most instances the blond haired, blue eyed child, or woman that goes missing under mysterious circumstances will get the headline before the black child, or woman, who also goes missing under mysterious circumstances. It is such a sad truth that this happens and it is unconscionable in my opinion.

When someone goes missing don't their families suffer the same emotions, whether black or white? Is it the socio-economic double standard? Peterson, Klaas, and Smart were from pretty well off families, we know this because of the coverage. I don't have stats on the missing Black persons families backgrounds, because there was no mention of their economic status. Seems to me the attitude of the media is that they are all about ratings and putting a missing white person on the morning news attracts more viewers statistically speaking. It is a fact. Its also a sad fact that law enforcement takes some cases less serious than others, especially kids who are classified as runaways, maybe there is a legitimate reason they run away. When  black children run away who cares right? No one is going to miss them...except their families.

Several foundations and organizations have been created because people had to somehow continue the legacy of their loved ones who were missing and in most cases found dead. Here are links to several of those sites.

When I was researching info for this post I clicked on link for the Spartanburg County, South Carolina's link for missing persons, and though Evelyn A. Shelton is currently missing, a photo of a woman who has been missing since 2002 is the only missing person listed on that site. She is white, blonde haired and blue eyed! Terrible! This proves my point perfectly.

Evelyn A. Shelton 42, has been missing since May 20, 2011, when she left to meet a study date in Spartanburg, South Carolina, her car was found the next day on the outskirts of Spartanburg, an orange HHR. Please watch this video made by a family member and recently posted on If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Evelyn please contact the numbers provided at the end of the slideshow or go to this link. When someone is missing, there are those that are left behind to deal with the events that will follow, the people that love them. I hope none of us ever have to experience the emotions they do every moment of the day not knowing if their loved one is ok.  In all of these instances race does not matter, time does.


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