TV One's 'Find Our Missing' premiere draws new tips
Pamela Butler, left, and Hasanni Campbell are featured on the first episode of TV One's "Find Our Missing."
January 19th, 2012
04:40 PM ET

TV One's 'Find Our Missing' premiere draws new tips

Editor's note: Dr. Drew and his guests explored the issue of whether the media ignores missing minorities. Watch "Dr. Drew" at 9 p.m. ET and PT weeknights on HLN.

By Sarah Springer, CNN

(CNN) –The series premiere of TV One's “Find Our Missing" on Wednesday has already drawn new tips on some missing persons cases.

"Find Our Missing," hosted by “Law & Order” actress S. Epatha Merkerson, documents unsolved cases of missing black people in the United States. The premiere episode shared the stories of 47-year-old Pamela Butler, who disappeared in 2009 in Washington, D.C., and 5-year-old Hasanni Campbell, who vanished in Oakland, California, that same year. Eight more stories will be shared throughout the season.

The cases come from the files of The Black and Missing Foundation Inc., , which helps publicize cases of missing people of color in the United States.

The organization, founded in 2008 by sisters-in-law Derrica and Natalie Wilson, has seen a huge jump in web traffic and some new tips since the show aired, Natalie Wilson said.

Derrica Wilson, the organization’s president and CEO, said the show provides awareness about missing people whose stories often go under-reported in traditional media. The organization has helped reunite a number of families using a tip line, emergency alerts, social media and other sources. The show's website includes message boards and other platforms to help people share information.

“This show complements the efforts of the foundation," Derrica Wilson said. “Right now there is no platform. We don’t have any platforms such as this series to bring attention to missing persons of color.”

Craig Henry, director of programming and production for TV One, said cases involving missing black people are often overlooked because of stereotypes surrounding the black community.

“I just think that the general belief about black people is that most of us live in impoverished conditions and crime is a regular part of our lives. When you hear about people who happen to be missing, we are a bit desensitized, unfairly so, to black people and crime,” Henry said.


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Filed under: Black in America • Community • How we live • Pop culture • Race • Social justice
Opinion: Beyond 'Red Tails,' more hidden heroes of American history
George Washington Albright, center, was said to spy for Abraham Lincoln -- more forgotten history, Sana Butler writes.
January 19th, 2012
02:40 PM ET

Opinion: Beyond 'Red Tails,' more hidden heroes of American history

Editor's note: Sana Butler is a contributor to Newsweek magazine and wrote "Sugar of the Crop: My Journey to Find the Children of Slaves," about her 10-year search to find and interview the last surviving children of slaves. Those original interview tapes will be stored in the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture

By Sana Butler, Special to CNN

(CNN) - The next few days will determine if "Red Tails," the World War II action film about the Tuskegee Airmen, is a box office success. But the story of the Airmen’s real-life courage is already in the record book that counts: history.

Few can argue the Tuskegee Airmen were one of the best fighting groups in the United States Air Force, then called U.S Army Air Force. Their record speaks for itself.

In a 2005 speech to introduce bipartisan legislation awarding the unit a Congressional Gold Medal, Michigan Senator Carl Levin pointed out that the Tuskegee Airmen’s superior skills during combat missions landed them in history books as the first aerial unit to sink a battleship with only machine guns.

In fact, white U.S bomber pilots and crew would put in specific requests to be escorted over Europe by Tuskegee pilots because of their respected record.

But due to the politics of collective memory, African-American heroes are often left out of the American story.


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Filed under: Black in America • History • What we think
January 19th, 2012
01:19 PM ET

Rareview: Touré: Don't forget blackness, but don't limit it, either

Rareviews go inside the lives of those in America whose stories we don't always hear.

By Claudia Morales, CNN

(CNN) – Writer Touré likes to practice yoga and skydive, and married a woman outside of his race - all things he's been told "black people don't do." In his latest book "Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?: What It Means to be Black Now," Touré argues that times have changed and there are no limits to the black identity. There is no right or wrong way to "perform blackness" in today's society, he says.

"No one can tell you this is authentic behavior, and this is inauthentic behavior, this is legitimate normative blackness and this is illegitimate non-normative black behavior," he says. " That’s ridiculous."

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Filed under: Black in America • Race • Rareviews • Who we are
Engage: Immigration a hot topic for smaller GOP field
Republican presidential hopefuls debate in South Carolina at 8 p.m. ET Thursday on CNN.
January 19th, 2012
11:01 AM ET

Engage: Immigration a hot topic for smaller GOP field

Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.

How will Mitt Romney's immigration stance be received in South Carolina?  - The Los Angeles Times

Racial themes in Republican rhetoric pose risk - The New York Times

Profile: A look at the career of  Fox News contributor Juan Williams - Vanity Fair

American Israel Public Affairs Committee, pro-Israel lobby, finds 'allies' at historically black colleges - Colorlines.com

Study: About 1 in 5 suffer from mental illness, most go untreated - USA Today

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Filed under: Engage