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."

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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