Orlando Sun-Sentinal/Sherri Winston examines lack of coverage in Stepha Henry case

stephahenry.JPGThe Orlando Sun-Sentinal asks the question that's been raised on this site plenty of times: Why does America ignore missing black women? 

Natalee Holloway, Lori Hacking and Laci Peterson received round the clock coverage as is Marine Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach.  But what about the sisters?


In the case of Stepha Henry, the details rush at you like pieces from a classic noir thriller: bright college student and honors graduate from John Jay College, travels from Brooklyn, N.Y., to lush, tropical South Florida for Memorial Day weekend.

In her last conversation with her mother, the young woman rushes off the phone, saying she's riding to a nightclub with a friend of a friend. It is the last known conversation Stepha would have with her mother or any loved one.

In the Sun-Sentinal article Deidra Robey who publishes Black and Missing but Not Forgotten is quoted extensively.  Ms. Robey (a great friend to Dallas South) is a tireless advocate on behalf of missing African-American women. Here are some of the quotes in the article from Deidra:

  • "About four out of 10 missing adults are white, three of 10 black and two of 10 Latino according to research done by The National Center for Missing Adults," Robey says. "Furthermore, more than half of the missing are men. So why are we always seeing a missing white woman with blonde hair in the news? Everybody should get equal coverage and not just those that are deemed 'newsworthy'."
  • "I'm not even sure why (Stepha) wasn't covered enough. There's a number of reasons: It could be that her case got lost in the midst of the Paris Hiltons, the Michael Vicks and the Britney Spears. Maybe it was the way she disappeared. It also could be that she didn't fit a certain demographic that reporters are looking to cover … Last but not least, it could also be a result of the lack of diversity among news reporters."
  • "Whatever the reason is though, there were several opportunities for the media to catch up on Henry's case. They should've been on it from Day One and stayed on it until she was found. It's sad that the most news that Stepha may ever have is when they find her body. Let's hope that the media can do better than that next time."

On Tuesday, police in Brooklyn arrested Kendrick Lincoln Williams, 32, and questioned him for much of the day. Williams is being charged with second degree murder for the murder of Stepha Henry.

America has forgotten our missing sisters, but fortunately for us Deidra has not.  Read the entirety of Sherry Winston's column by clicking here, and Black and Missing's account of Williams' arrest here.


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