Carlee Russell May Have Lied, But These Black Women and Girls Are Still Missing

The case of Carlethia “Carlee” Russell has taken an even more unsettling turn as she apologized through her attorney and admitted that she was not kidnapped in a hoax that flooded social media and dominated national news. The headlines that Russell received were not the norm for missing Black people, especially Black women, who disappear or are kidnapped. It was an “unprecedented” level of news and social media coverage, said Natalie Wilson, co-founder of the Black and Missing Foundation.

Capital B is taking this moment to look at just a handful of cases of missing Black women.

Medical Racism’s Role in the Recent Spike in Maternal Mortality

In 2021, more than 360 Black women died of maternal health causes across the country, according to the CDC—up from just over 290 in 2020 and more than 240 the year prior.

Despite advancements in medicine and technology over the years, the racial gap in who is suffering the most severe consequences of childbirth is growing, and most Black maternal and child health experts point to systematic racism as the root cause.

Florida’s Rejection of African American Studies Reflects the Historical Fight for Black Education

Florida officials have rejected a new Advanced Placement (AP) course on African American studies, calling it “woke indoctrination” that “significantly lacks educational value.” But the modern figures and movements that the state board objects to are extensions of Black history. That history is the story of Black activism, the ongoing, centuries-old struggle for rights and freedoms in the United States—and African American studies as a field is itself rooted in that effort. 

“We have the potential of raising an entire generation of Black children who will not be able to see themselves represented in their own state or in education.”