Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney, Lashay Adams, Maleah Davis and Noelani Robinson are a few of the African American girls across the country who recently were abducted and murdered. It seems that Black girls are being targeted at an alarming rate, especially when kidnapping and sex trafficking are included.
The FBI’s 2018 NCIC Missing Person and Unidentified Person statistics show that 225,640 females out of 424,066 persons under the age of 18 are missing in the U.S., and 155,966 of them are African Americans. Amber Alert statistics reveal that 73 percent of reporting missing children is African Americans.
CNN recently reported that Black kids go missing at a higher rate than their white counterparts. Out of the 424,066 children who went missing in 2018, about 37 percent of them is Black. Keep in mind that Black children make up 13 percent of the population.
With a small population of Black children, the number of missing persons is alarmingly high. So how do we protect our children from abduction?
Sex trafficking advocate Radiant Jones spends her time informing the communities on how to combat human trafficking and bring awareness to the issue by sharing ways on how women and girls need to remain alert.
“They are kidnapping black and brown girls because no one looks and cares for us. Our missing persons are not a high priority. But it is not even about race, they will kidnap any woman, any child of any race,” Jones said.
Jones believes that in order to keep children safe, parents need to take great measures to protect them. She recommends parents give their children smart watches with a tracker and download and activate the “Find My” feature on their phones, so parents know where their kids are at all times.
Jacquelyn Grant, a middle school teacher at Havana Magnet School in neighboring Gadsden County, said there is not an official curriculum in the classrooms on teaching safety to students. However, as a teacher that is concerned with the African American youth, she often incorporates it within her lesson plans and current event discussions.
She believes that parents need to be direct in addressing these issues so that children are not oblivious to what is going on around them. Having a daughter of her own, Grant encourages parents to have open and honest conversations with their child because kidnapping and trafficking are, unfortunately, a harsh reality.
“Parents, look at the news together with your children and address it. Do not hide from it because that is not going to conquer the problem, that is not going to prepare them if anything happens,” Grant said.
Overall, the best way to tackle this issue is to be vigilant and not fearful, she added. It is important that parents know what is going on in their child’s life and teach them the precautions on how to stay safe.