Historically, pretty, young, blonde, blue-eyed females that are reported missing have often received extensive national media coverage, while people of color who suffer the same fate rarely make headlines. On Wednesday, January 18 at 10 p.m., TV One will premiere “Find Our Missing,” a 10-episode, one-hour docu-drama created to “draw attention to and help find missing Black Americans, whose stories are largely ignored in national media coverage of missing persons.”
Hosted by Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson, who for 16 years portrayed Police Lieutenant Anita Van Buren on NBC’s “Law & Order,” “Find Our Missing” is “designed to put names and faces to people of color who have disappeared without a trace.” According to the network, each episode will tell the story of the missing person or persons, beginning with the day they vanished and the frantic searches by loved ones and investigators to find them. Viewers will then be called to action and provided with contact information for the specific police and local FBI offices handling the cases if they have any information about the missing
The premiere episode features stories of two people who vanished in 2009:
Pamela Butler, a 47 year-old Program Analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency, mysteriously disappeared from inside her Washington, D.C. home despite an elaborate security system. Her boyfriend was the last person to see her.
Hassani Campbell, a sweet five year-old boy suffering from cerebral palsy vanished from the busy Rockridge neighborhood in Oakland, California. His foster father, who was dropping Hassani off at his foster mother’s job, says he left him alone for just moments when he took Hassani’s younger sister to the front of the store. Investigators don’t believe Hassani ever made it to Rockridge that day.
“Nearly one-third of the missing in this country are Black Americans, while we make up only 12 percent of the population. Yet stories about missing people of color are rarely told in the national media,” said TV One President and CEO Wonya Lucas. ‘Find Our Missing’ will be dramatic television, but we also hope that TV One’s combined efforts on air, through digital and social media, and through partnerships will also draw attention to a critical issue and bring new information to light for the loved ones of the missing featured in this series, and for others. We hope these profiles will trigger the memory of someone who might have seen something, and feel compelled to come forward and help these families who have suffered so long.”