News

Black Girls Are Going Missing In D.C.—What You Need to Know

The issue of missing black and Latino teens in the nation's capital has remained largely below the radar until now.

With nearly a dozen black teens reported missing in Washington D.C. this week alone, representatives in the country's capital are calling on the FBI to investigate what appears to be an upsurge in the number of black and Latino teenagers that have been gone missing in the area this year.


Lawmakers have asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey to step in and "devote the resources necessary to determine whether these developments are an anomaly or whether they are indicative of an underlying trend that must be addressed.”

According to Rachel Reid, the spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police, this has been an ongoing problem in the region for the past couple of years,  the real increase is in the amount of social media coverage on the issue. "We've just been posting them on social media more often," she said.  The police department's numbers show that the amount of teens who have gone missing actually dropped from 2,433 in 2015 to 2,242 in 2016, reports NBC's Washington local news.

It's becoming clear, that cases involving black and Latino teens, in particular, lack sufficient media coverage. According to the Black and Missing foundation 36.8 percent of missing children in America are black.

“We also noticed that a lot of African American children that go missing are initially classified as runaways," says Natalie Wilson, the organization's co-founder. "They do not get an Amber Alert or media coverage."

This lack of national attention is what has many outraged across social media, as many wonder why this pervasive issue has gone under the radar until now.

While social media definitely aids in helping call attention to such issues, if we learned anything from the 2014 #BringBackOurGirls movement, sadly, it's that hashtag activism alone, is not enough to bring our girls home.

 

 

 

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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