Opinon: Missing Black Women Get No Play 24/7 on Mainstream Media

Latasha Norman (main, big picture)

Through Black America Web and Oh Hell Nawl, was where I first found out this information about missing Jackson State University student, Latasha Norman.

It's sad that I'm at the point that I feel no surprise about coverage of Black Women in the United States, much less all over the world period (positive or negative scenarios) getting little to no mainstream airtime on regular or cable television.

I know that people come up missing on a constant basis and it is a deep tragedy overall when these things occur period, but its almost by the book now to have breathless back-to-back coverage of when a young, white, (usually) blond woman goes missing (see Natalee Holloway) but anything crazy that happens to People of Color, much less Black People, gets the short shrift unless the spotlight is shown on people (see Hurricane Katrina inefficency and supposed "Third World" offering up help faster then the U.S. was giving it).

It feels as though the only thing less cared about in U.S. Society than a Black Man is the Black Woman (unless you get the coveted "Non-Threatening Negro and/or Who Will Destroy Their Own Community for A Shiny Chain and A Biscut" award).

You KNOWit is bad when a white representative of law enforcement owns up to this young sis not getting any media play about her situation because she's Black:

Why does one missing woman get all the attention while another woman's story becomes a buried headline?

Jackson, Miss., Police Chief Malcolm McMillin, who has been heading a search over the past eight days for 20-year-old Latasha Norman, thinks he knows one reason why.

"As far as the interest by the national media in the story, I think race probably had an impact," the police chief said.
(italized by editor of

Norman, who is an honors student at Jackson State University, is black.

"It's a small college in the South. It's the daughter of simple people who maybe are not important outside of their circle, and maybe we don't attach the same importance to them that we do for other people," said McMillin, who is white.

The chief contrasted the lack of publicity over the Norman search to the widespread coverage of Stacy Peterson's disappearance. Peterson, who is white, is the 23-year-old wife of former Illinois cop Drew Peterson who vanished in late October. The media glare on the Peterson case has prompted police to reopen the criminal investigation into the death of Drew Peterson's third wife.

"We're looking for the media to give this case as much exposure as it can so that we can develop some leads," McMillin said.

Norman, an accounting major from Greenville, Miss., was last seen on Tuesday, Nov. 13 when she left a marketing class around 2:30 p.m. She was wearing a white shirt and blue jeans at the time.

Luther Samuel, an investigator for the Jackson State Department of Public Safety, said the department is limited in the details it can release, but said they have received a number of tips and that several areas, including the campus, have been searched.

Norman's boyfriend Stanley Cole, 23, was charged last week with assaulting Norman and released on $500 bond, The Clarion-Ledger of Mississippi reported Saturday. Norman told police in Pearl, Miss., that Cole hit her in the face during an argument in a restaurant parking lot. Cole, who is also a student at Jackson State, has not been named a suspect in Norman's disappearance.

Norman's family members, who described Norman Tuesday as focused and easygoing, pledged to keep searching for the young woman until she is found. "We're not going to stop until we know something," her father, Danny Bolden, said. "We're going to be relentless."

The Jackson State University Department of Public Safety, the Jackson police and the Hinds County Sheriff's Department are all working on the case. The FBI has also offered its assistance.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: ABC News

Since mainstream media isn't doing the job of putting this out there, the Internet community and other forms of Independent Media is the one that needs to look out on these issues and others until they are forced into the forefront.

For a country that spouts out, "Land of the Free" and all of that jazz, if as a woman you can constantly feel like a ready-to-abuse victim due to lack of consequences and/or caring for the perp who did violence and whatnot to you, folks might as well be getting that Saudi Arabian B.S. law system that's going down restricting women without hiding things under pretty words and language.

You Get Beaten = Oh Well
Don't Give It Up = You Get Dissed/Raped/Etc.

As a Black Woman myself, this s*** makes me mad as hell and quite frankly, if folks don't like it, I could give less than a damn.

If folks don't look out for themselves, then who is, no?

Also in the "What's Good With The Media Coverage for Black Women?" front:

No Hate Crime Charge Updates Yet on the West Virgina Torture Case with Megan Williams - Needs Help with Legal Fund

Stepha Henry Is Still Missing

NBC Is Doing A Series on Black Women - Let's See How That Goes


Anonymous said...

As I recall, Halloway's mother is rich and she basically bought national attention. Many other white girls have disappeared since Halloway but few if any have received national attention.

News is entertainment. If a case does not grab the attention of a news producer, it probably won't grab the attention of news consumers.

I think the problem here is that you are trying to make the news into something that it is not.

DJ Fusion/FuseBox Radio Broadcast said...


Thanks for hitting folks up over here at and sharing your opinon.

I think the sad thing is that news IS looked at by some as purely entertainment now.

The status quo could have always been that way with the news, but the scary thing is I think that folks aren't even trying to hide that viewpoint anymore under the "fair and balanced journalism" facade (though Fox News pretty much on some doublespeak stuff flipped that facade real quick as a slogan).

Actually, that makes things a bit worse - Black People can be entertainers on all other fronts, especially when a black dude (usually famous) dies or self-destructs, but again, Black Women play no rank or role (unless seen as controlled by self-destruction)?

None of this mess is kosher/halal whatever way it's sliced.

Butterfingers Inc said...

as somone who has spent the past six years putting up missing kids posters in my area, I deeply resent this blatant racial aspect of our missing people and the media.
why is it that we are the only ones complaining about media coverage for our missing when we don't do the neccessary work to get the information to the media? shoot I wish that our missing people would get the same coverage as the police brutality cases that get all the marches and lawsuits and witnesses, but then again you are only talking about one in every 100 cases of missing people actually get some coverage. as we saw in Kansas City with precious doe that if the community cares about our own first we can do it together.