Four-part documentary series “Black and Missing”, by multiple Emmy winner Geeta Gandbhir and award-winning documentarian, journalist, author and activist Soledad O’Brien, follows sisters-in-law and Black and Missing Foundation founders Derrica and Natalie Wilson as they fight an uphill battle to bring awareness to the Black missing persons cases that are marginalized by law enforcement and national media. The series, which was three years in the making, takes on new urgency given the renewed national conversation on “missing white woman syndrome.”
“Black and Missing” debuts back-to-back episodes Tuesday, Nov. 23 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT), with the final two episodes airing back-to-back on Wednesday, Nov. 24 at the same time. All four episodes of the series will debut on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max.
Haunted by these stories of vanished loved ones and driven by the need for attention and assistance for these forgotten women, former law enforcement officer Derrica and public relations expert Natalie operate a grassroots organization that raises awareness in communities, alerts media outlets to the plight of thousands of women and children and urges police departments to allocate more resources to this scourge.
Cases of missing Black people remain unresolved four times longer than those of white people. “Black and Missing” pulls back the curtain to explore how systemic behaviors and attitudes stem from centuries of deeply rooted racism. The series also exposes the stark disparity in the media coverage of white and Black missing persons.
This intimate look at Derrica and Natalie’s personal crusade to locate missing Black people also highlights stories of hope and closure as the Black and Missing Foundation contributes to the resolution of several high-profile missing persons cases.
The Black and Missing Foundation works in several ways to change the narrative surrounding missing Black people, providing volunteers for work on the ground, and serving as an important advocacy platform to help bring these stories to light. By keeping these stories and the missing in the news media, Derrica and Natalie put increased pressure on police departments to keep cases open and active.
“Black and Missing” includes wrenching testimony from the families and loved ones of missing women, from activists and volunteers with their own stories of loss to law officers and historians with first-hand experience in this field. Participants include John Walsh, founder of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; Vince Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights; Dr. Renee Murrell, FBI victim specialist; Glenn Kirschner, former assistant D.A.; Debra Sines, former assistant U.S. attorney; Thomas Stack, Baltimore head of trafficking; T.J. Smith, Baltimore chief of police.
HBO Documentary Films’ presents a SO’B Production “Black and Missing,” directed by Geeta Gandbhir, Nadia Hallgren, Samantha Knowles and Yoruba Richen; supervising producer, Julie Anderson; executive producers, Soledad O’Brien, Geeta Gandbhir, Jo Honig and Patrick Conway. For HBO: executive producers, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller and Sara Rodriguez.
“Black and Missing” kicks off a collection of four gripping documentary titles that debut on Tuesdays, beginning November 23. Exploring crime-related stories and the issues surrounding them, the anthology includes:
“Life Of Crime: 1984-2020” (November 30), an intimate verite documentary that spans 36 years in the lives of three friends from Newark and captures the highs and lows of the vicious cycles of drug addiction and street crime in one of the roughest parts of New Jersey. Directed by Jon Alpert.
“The Slow Hustle” (December 7), a searing look at corruption within the Baltimore Police Department, through the prism of a veteran officer’s mysterious death, as local journalists, family and the community strive to find the truth. Directed by Sonja Sohn.
“The Murders At Starved Rock” (December 14 and 15), a three-part documentary series exploring the 1960 brutal murders of three women in Starved Rock State Park in LaSalle County, Illinois, and the decades of questions and doubts that have haunted the son of the prosecutor in the case, as the man found guilty seeks to clear his name after sixty years in prison. Directed by Jody McVeigh-Schultz.
Visit www.hbo.com/movies/black-and-missing for more info.