Justice for Jada

In Commentary, Contemplations on June 26, 2009 at 10:51 pm


(Jada- may she be better cared for above than she was below.)


‘Children are the reward of life.’

It is the Congolese Proverb that we chose as the theme for our shower when Nailah was born. Nailah, my now rambunctious three year old daughter, was born prematurely at six months- weighing only 17 ounces.  I went to the hospital every day during those four months; pumping breast milk, praying, holding, hoping that my belief in her and God would not falter. I gave her every ounce of love I had within me, knowing that nothing but love would bring both of us through. One day after leaving the hospital, I witnessed a woman verbally abusing her small children, and me distinctly wanting to strangle her. In that moment I gathered that those feelings were probably attributed the stress of trying to keep my breast milk flowing, or the exhaustion of trekking through those hospital corridors everyday. In hindsight though, I realize that it was the fact that I, who had done everything I could to have a healthy baby, had one who was clinging to life, and she, who had healthy children, was berating them because they moved too much in their chairs. It wasn’t at all fair.  I recall vividly my mother telling me that life isn’t fair or filled with justice, so I might as well get used to it.  No truer words have been spoken.  I knew then, even in my anger, that we live in an absurd world where fairness is about as absent as clarity. My mother’s words and my work at answering all of the “how comes” in life have yet to erase the faces of those poor babies or that encounter.

Fast forward to June 16, 2009, I sat reading an article about a missing child, Jada Justice, who had allegedly gone missing while left unattended on the side of a gas station in an unlocked car at 9:30 pm.  I immediately became emotionally attached to the story because in one of the photos provided Jada resembled Nailah.  As the days passed, I heard less and less about her. The SC Governor- yes, Neda- yes, but no Jada. I watched Nancy Grace, whom I somewhat despise because of her failure to report on the cases of missing black and brown children, and found nothing past one mention of her.  Finally, in the midst of hearing of the passing of Michael Jackson, I read that Jada’s body was found.  The emptiness that I felt within my spirit, well, I can’t seem to adequately pronounce or articulate it. I think I have been holding my daughter nearly to the point of suffocation since I read the news.

Somehow, I feel that we failed to protect Jada. She was neglected, obviously, both in her life and in her death, but she is not the only one.  Mainstream media neglects to adequately report on our children who are missing, abused, or murdered.  I consider Caylee Anthony and the amazing news reports that meticulously guided us through the search for her, and even her mother’s trial after it was determined that she obviously murdered her daughter.  I dare you to search the two names and witness the difference in available information regarding the two girls. The search results should at least sour your stomach, if you are strong enough to subdue regurgitation.

I want justice for Jada, probably to the point of forming a group of vigilantes to avenge her death.  I would also like to have street fights with whomever chooses the news stories that are produced in these mainstream media outlets.  The rage that is conjured from hopelessness is more than likely the strongest rage that one can possess, I figure, and can turn a kind intellectual into a mad-woman.  In the least, I can pass on Jada’s story and shed light on the not-so alarming, not-so new trend of neglecting to report on our children:      Jada’s story         Missing Black children get less media coverage.     What color is that baby?         Where is Jada? Missing Black girl ignored…

Kiss your(or someones) babies tonight and pray for Jada’s family. Along with doing those two things I also plan to wish upon a star that there is a special place in hell for the people who abuse, abduct, and murder children, and those who make conscious choices not to report such events.

I am sick to have to add an update to this post, however the following article outlines the details of Jada’s murder. I really have no other words.


  1. This is very moving. I am still making my way through the links you have provided but I am shaken up by the realization that I had never heard of Jada until this moment. Shocking and sad.

  2. Thanks for enlightening me. Her story is sad and even sadder is the neglect she received in death. Today is “Daddy-Daughter Day.” I expect that at some point today, my reflection will finally say, “Daddy, too much kisses, too much hugs,” because after reflecting on Jada, I will hold her just a bit tighter.

  3. JoNubian, I appreciate your sharing this on so many levels because it is tragic in every way. We must pause to consider the disparities evident in the reporting of “our” babies that go missing. Jada’s angelic spirit has returned home, but sadly this loss won’t be our last. We must be enraged enough to do something. Thanks for the impetus.

  4. I have a three year old daughter too. And was riveted to this story since it’s inception (also a Chicago resident). I want to believe that she just wandered out the car and no harm was done to her by another person, but I know deep in my heart her ending may have been much more darker than that. I thank you for this post, and hope Justice does indeed come for little Jada.

  5. Thank you for keeping this story alive amidst the media frenzy these last few days. There aren’t words to convey the injustice of this child being lost in the shuffle.

  6. My heart is SO heavy right now.

    I did some research and came across an article giving horrifying details of what happened to this beautiful little girl. I was shaking while reading it.,jada0627.article

    Jada… may your spirit find peace in a realm not as filled with monsters as this one.

  7. you know i read this and i got all tearry eyed. your sharing about Nailah was touching. This piece reminded me of Madison, dunno if you remembered the British couple that went on holiday somewhere sunny (think it was Spain) in ’07 and Madi was plastered on the news for an entire 7 months, only to later charge the parents
    sick sick sick people,

    I pray more is done to find these children, and harsher sentences imposed to the perpetrators

  8. that poor baby…

    i’m also wondering about this 18 year old who’s all into these heavy drugs and what not…another situation where several young lives have been ruined.

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