Bring Back Our Girls


200+ Nigerian Girls Kidnapped: Will You Fight for Your Brown Sistas?

Imagine waking up your daughter to get ready for school. She gets dressed while you prepare her breakfast. The kitchen quickly fills with the sounds of laughter as the two of you discuss everything from her assignment that’s due next week to the young boy who’s beginning to give her butterflies.

You hug your sweet girl, kiss her cheek and say, “Mommy loves you.” And as she heads to the school bus she smiles, “I love you too.”

You savor this mother-daughter time because you appreciate every moment with your baby. But the day’s pending events will show you why, although you didn’t realize, that moment was so much more valuable than the rest.

Your heart flips upside down as you listen to the voice on the other end of the phone:

Your daughter has been kidnapped, you don’t know where she’s been taken, and you may never see her again.

Can you imagine, mothers? Can you imagine, in an instance, your baby girl being snatched from you? Can you imagine feeling helpless in protecting her? In comforting her? Being defenseless in the quest to bring her home?

And what if it wasn’t your daughter? Or your niece? Or your sister?

What if the kidnapped girl was…YOU?

On the night of April 14, an estimated 234 girls were kidnapped from their school dormitory in Chibok, Borno State, in Nigeria. Stories report that the radical terrorist group, Boko Haram, violently bombarded the Chibok School, and at gunpoint, kidnapped more than 200 Nigerian girls. News outlets say the militant group is selling the young girls into forced marriages for a USD equivalent of $12 each.

These girls are 12-17 years old.

Reports say the girls have been taken to neighboring countries, such as Chad and Cameroon. Stories also report that anywhere from 30-50 girls have escaped.

A story in The Guardian said that due to the lack of intervention from Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian parents had to setup their own search parties, scouring the forests where they believed the terrorist group had taken the girls. Many protests have taken place and several social media campaigns, under the #BringBackOurGirls and #BringBackOurDaughters, hashtags have helped ignite recent national coverage of the story.

One Nigerian woman has even setup a petition to “declare our solidarity with the kidnapped girls and call upon the world not to forget them, support all efforts to ensure their safe return, and ask President Goodluck Jonathan and the Nigerian Government to ensure all schools are safe places to learn, protected from attack.”

Due to its frequency, I think it’s very easy for us to shrug when we hear bad news and offer our “Oh that’s terrible” and “How sad” comments. And this is especially true when the news isn’t in close proximity.

But as a reader of and as a Brown Sista in general, this tragedy is proximate. Those 200+ girls are “Brown Sistas” just like you and me, and it is our duty to fight on behalf of blood.

A post about Beyonce will get 700 shares and 500 comments. And if anyone says anything remotely negative about her, you’ll have the “Beyhive” swarming at you with all types of comments in her defense.

When the police failed to arrest George Zimmerman for shooting and killing Trayvon Martin… we fought.

When Paula Deen let the N-word slip out of her mouth… we fought.

When Pharrell Williams left out the darker-toned beauties on his GIRL album cover… we fought.

And recently, after hearing Donald Sterling’s ‘massa mentality’… we fought.

Now the issue lies outside of America, but it has a direct impact on every little brown girl inside of our nation.

Everyone is not free. In many parts of the world, women are still denied access to equal education or even receiving an education at all. Women are still stripped of their God-given rights, “handled” by men as mere object with disregard to their needs and wants. Women still are not respected, not equally valued and not afforded even one-third of the opportunities that us Americans have today.

We must fight for this too. We must show our little brown girls that women have the right to be treated as the human beings that we are. We must show them that this mass kidnapping is not okay and the Nigerian government’s lack of help is unacceptable.

We must fight and show them that women do matter. Like our outrage over racism and prejudice, protecting the livelihood of women is equally as important, no matter if they are here or 3,000 miles away.

Sistas, will you fight with us and for us, today?

Sign the petition and use the #BringBackOurDaughters and #BringBackOurGirls hashtags to promote awareness. Don’t feel like your efforts will be useless in bringing these girls home safely. Honestly, it’s not about if your tweet or your signature on a petition will directly result in their rescue, but similar to how many Americans (of all races, but especially Blacks) protested and boycotted in the fight against apartheid, your actions now are a symbol of solidarity.

Please imagine if this was your child or if you were taken against your will…and the impact someone taking a stand would make on you and/or your daughter’s behalf.


Service is her passion, writing is her platform, uplifting women and the Black Community is her purpose. Shala Marks is a writer, editor and soon-to-be published author. Through her work, Marks aspires to demonstrate “The Craft of Writing, and the Art of Efficacy.” She has a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University. Connect with her at: and stay up-to-date by following @shala_marks.


  1. I can’t imagine that and I hate to hear about anyone going through that. Whether here or there. It is a travesty as to what is happening to young girls globally. Jesus help us.

  2. This is something I cannot forget about or overlook because it hasn’t shown up at my front door. In fact, I’m in constant prayer for all those involved. I’m hurt because of this and how little has been said and done about it. This is already a big scary world and these young girls are without their parents, their protectors. How can so many go missing without sounding off any alarms? Are brown girls just not special enough to care about? Is that what we’re doing now? Disgusting! I am those girls and those girls are me and I’m going to do whatever it is that I can and make as much noise as I possibly can. I will also spread this information to others because the reality is…this can be either one of us.

    I’m surprised there aren’t many comments here when there is so much to be said about this. But I guess you’ve got to be Beyonce to get a little attention and to be taken seriously.

  3. I want to see more being done to save those girls. I’m so angry at the government for not doing more. I hope to God they find all of them unharmed, and that more can escape unhurt.

  4. Thanks for reading everyone! @EVA, you worte:

    I’m surprised there aren’t many comments here when there is so much to be said about this. But I guess you’ve got to be Beyonce to get a little attention and to be taken seriously.

    It’s very sad, isn’t it? But it shows the state of our society and our values. If it isn’t about the latest “in” person or trend, it doesn’t receive much attention or time.

    And @LELE I too am disappointed by the government’s lack of action, but history shows that this seems to be a common occurrence when it comes to people of color. Like the Trayvon Martin case, we have to be our own advocates and stand up and speak out to bring issues to attention, and we need more people doing so for these girls.

  5. This story is the reason why I get sad sometimes at night when I watch my children sleeping. You want to protect our children but sometimes messed up stuff happen and its sad that when it happens to our children is usually the worst of the worst and response time is always delayed. It must be frustrating to have something happen to your child but no one care because of the color of their skin. I just really pray that there is a happy ending. I am not naïve but I cant bring myself to not hope for the best.

  6. Wonderful article. Some great points were raised. We need to pay attention to what matters. This is an absolute horrific story that deserves all of humanity’s attention. Its good the world is taking notice to this huge problem of trafficking young girls, which is happening around the world. Even the right wing pundits are taking notice to this story, albeit just to blame Hillary Clinton for her choice as Secretary of State to put the leader of this hate/terrorist group on the US’s watch list. More so than anything I want to see Africans bring their people to justice. As the governments in many African countries are corrupt and turn a blind eye to so many atrocities afflicting their people. Instead of worrying about homosexuality, and passing laws to stone people. They need to bring their girls home, and be proactive in protecting them. Hopefully with the worlds involvement or eyes on this story, it will shame the Nigerian government into saving their/our girls.

Comments are closed.