American Airlines has apologized for demanding a black woman 'cover up' for wearing a romper.
via Matt Hintsa / Flickr and Tisha Rowe / Twitter

There have been dozens of stories that have gone viral over the past few years about black people being harassed for going about their everyday lives.

There was the black family who had the cops called on them for having a barbecue, the little girl who was harassed for selling bottled water on the street, and recently the metro worker who's job was threatened for eating on the train.

Now, American Airlines has apologized for humiliating a black doctor for wearing vacation attire on a flight home from Jamaica.


Tisha Rowe, who practices family medicine in Houston, had boarded a flight home from Kingston with her son, Chase, when she was asked to deplane and have a talk with a flight attendant.

During the talk, Rowe was asked if she had a jacket to cover up the sleeveless romper she wore to the airport. When Rowe said she did not, the flight attendant said the only way she would be allowed back on the plane was by covering up with a blanket.

"I felt powerless," she told Buzzfeed News. "There was nothing I could do in that moment other than give up my money and my seat to defend my position that I was completely appropriate."

When she returned home, Rowe posted this photo to Twitter that showed she wasn't dressed inappropriate, especially returning from a tropical island. The tweet quickly went viral, earning over 10,000 likes and capturing the attention of American Airlines.

She also recounted the incident on Facebook, where she made an important point about how black women's bodies are unfairly policed. "We are policed for being black," she wrote.

"Our bodies are over sexualized as women and we must ADJUST to make everyone around us comfortable," she wrote. "I've seen white women with much shorter shorts board a plane without a blink of an eye. I guess if it's a 'nice ass' vs a Serena Booty it's okay."

Rowe also pointed out an article from Elle magazine where white women white were called fashionable for wearing similar airport attire.

Rowe's tweet won her a lot of support on Twitter from people who clearly saw her as the victim of a racial double-standard.

After the incident went viral, American Airlines reached out to apologize to Rowe.

"We were concerned about Dr. Rowe's comments, and reached out to her and our team at the Kingston airport to gather more information about what occurred," American Airlines spokesperson Shannon Gilson said in a statement.

"We apologize to Dr. Rowe and her son for their experience, and have fully refunded their travel," she added. "We are proud to serve customers of all backgrounds and are committed to providing a positive, safe travel experience for everyone who flies with us."

Rowe responded by saying she appreciates the support received and American Airlines' accountability. "Chase is too young to appreciate what is happening but on behalf of our tiny family the outpouring of love, the support, the demand for ACCOUNTABILITY is greatly appreciated," she said, according to Fox News. "Thank You."

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

Yesterday I was perusing comments on an Upworthy article about Joe Biden comforting the son of a Parkland shooting victim and immediately had flashbacks to the lead-up of the 2016 election. In describing former vice President Biden, some commenters were using the words "criminal," "corrupt," and "pedophile—exactly the same words people used to describe Hillary Clinton in 2016.

I remember being baffled that so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

But none of that was true.

It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

Eight months into the pandemic, you'd think people would have the basics figured out. Sure, there was some confusion in the beginning as to whether or not masks were going to help, but that was months ago (which might as well be years in pandemic time). Plenty of studies have shown that face masks are an effective way to limit the spread of the virus and public health officials say universal masking is one of the keys to being able to safely resume some normal activities.

Normal activities include things like getting a coffee at Starbucks, but a viral video of a barista's encounter with an anti-masker shows why the U.S. will likely be living in the worst of both worlds—massive spread and economic woe—for the foreseeable future.

Alex Beckom works at a Starbucks in Santee, California and shared a video taken after a woman pulled down her "Trump 2020" mask to ask the 19-year-old barista a question, pulled it back up when the barista asked her to, then pulled it down again.

Keep Reading Show less
True

*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through links on our site.

With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

Keep Reading Show less