“Depending on how the police officer feels, your sister could be considered a runaway or get an Amber alert.”
That’s Mitzi Miller, editor in Chief at Jet Magazine who was so moved by the epidemic of missing black children, that she broke a long-standing Jet tradition. “Normally, you would put an entertainer on the cover. But once we saw the facts, the numbers of our own that go missing, we couldn’t just have a cute little inside feature. We didn’t just pick one case to highlight. Instead, we did our first ever illustrated cover.”
The issue, on newstands now, lays bare the scary fact that every hour, 17 black children (under the age or 18) go missing.
“We know people are being abducted, we just don’t realize how prevalent it is,” Miller says. ”This is our future, we have to care. It’s not acceptable for us to say the media doesn’t care about black kids anymore. We have to make a difference. This is just as pressing as gun control.”
The story came to Jet thanks to Senior Editor Tia Brown who saw and became obsessed with TV One’s Find our Missing and brought the startling statistics to the Jet offices, pushing the idea of focusing on this nationwide epidemic.
Despite all the frightening statistics, Mitzi Miller says the six-page article is really about equipping parents with the tools to keep their children safe.
Miller says, “We should prevent, not lament. This needs to be a national conversation. Our community needs to talk to their kids. No one should know your child better than you – where they’re supposed to be, friends, clothes. These are the details the cops need when a child goes missing. Make sure you have updated pictures, keep an old toothbrush in the freezer for DNA. We need to teach our kids about the dangers out there. They do need to be aware of what’s happening.”