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It Only Takes 90 Seconds To Make Me Look At Black Kids Riding The Sliding Board A Little Differently

There's something so innocent about playing at a playground as a child. But what if the behaviors we learn there take on a different meaning when we're older?

It Only Takes 90 Seconds To Make Me Look At Black Kids Riding The Sliding Board A Little Differently

Here's a little background:

In the wake of the Ferguson, Missouri, protests surrounding the non-indictment of Officer Darren Wilson, hundreds of poets have recorded themselves reading meaningful and mostly original works that highlight systemic racism, police brutality, injustice, and the love of black life using the hashtag #BlackPoetsSpeakOut on Twitter. There's even a Tumblr devoted just to pulling together all the videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere else black poets are posting.


There are so many good poems there, written and read by people from all walks of life. Some of them are long and intense, some short and angry, some sad, some defiant, and all filled with metaphors and wordplay that would make Maya Angelou proud.

But my favorites are the simple ones that use really powerful ideas and imagery to make a powerful point. Images like this:

A slide.

And what in the world does a sliding board have to do with #BlackLivesMatter? Well, that's the beauty of poetry! Clint Smith's poem "Playground Elegy" tells the story of him as a little boy being told by his mother to raise his hands in the air on his first ride down a slide.

He remembers the feeling of freedom he felt as the air passed through his hands on his first slide. And now, as an adult and in the wake of Mike Brown's death, he wonders about the connection between raising his hands as a young black boy and the young men who are taught to raise their hands as a way to stay alive in the presence of police. Deep, right?

(In case you're wondering about the explicit connection between this poem and Ferguson, remember that eyewitnesses said they saw Mike Brown with his hands up in the air as he was shot by Darren Wilson. And while the prosecutor disputed that claim, the facts of the case remain unclear as to the exact positioning of his arms. As a result, the position has become a symbol of protest and solidarity for people all over the world since the shooting on Aug. 9, 2014.)

Anyway, I can't do his creative, thought-provoking poem justice, and it's only 90 seconds long, so make sure to share it!

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.

Acts of kindness and compassion are always inspiring. A veterinarian gave a different spin on the phrase "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em".

The poor little pup in this video walked into this shelter with a history of being abused. He was so traumatized that he wasn't eating. The vet treating him wasn't sure what to do, so he decided to book a table for two: a the dog's place. It is not clear whether he got an official invite from the canine in question, but he felt pretty safe about showing up unannounced. He walked into the cage and sat down next to the dog. With his back up against the corner of his new (and hopefully temporary) domain, the rescue stared apprehensively at his human guest. The vet presented a dog dish with food and put it in front of the dog. The frightened pup just looked at the dish and made no attempt to eat. Then he broke out another dog dish identical to the one he just gave to his four-legged patient and started eating out of that bowl. And then came the turning point.


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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
Anne Owens and Luke Redito / Wikimedia Commons
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When Madeline Swegle was a little girl growing up in Burke, VA, she loved watching the Blue Angels zip through the sky. Her family went to see the display every time it was in town, and it was her parents' encouragement to pursue her dreams that led her to the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017.

Before beginning the intense three-year training required to become a tactical air (TACAIR) pilot, Swegle had never been in an aircraft before; piloting was simply something she was interested in. It turns out she's got a gift for it—and not only is she skilled, she finds the "exhilaration to be unmatched."

"I'm excited to have this opportunity to work harder and fly high performance jet aircraft in the fleet," Swegle said in a statement released by the Navy. "It would've been nice to see someone who looked like me in this role; I never intended to be the first. I hope it's encouraging to other people."

As Swegle's story shows, representation and equality matter. And the responsibility to advance equality for all people - especially Black Americans facing racism - falls on individuals, organizations, businesses, and governmental leadership. This clear need for equality is why P&G established the Take On Race Fund to fight for justice, advance economic opportunity, enable greater access to education and health care, and make our communities more equitable. The funds raised go directly into organizations like NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, YWCA Stand Against Racism and the United Negro College Fund, helping to level the playing field.

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Do you know that guy who has never had an issue with his TV/internet provider? Neither do I. If you claim you have never had issues with your bill going up without warning, then you are either lying or you own the cable company. Jake Lawson apparently does not own a cable company, and was prepared to communicate his frustrations regarding his bill in a most creative way.

First off, Jake understands what everyone should realize. The customer service representative doesn't own the cable company either, so yelling at someone who is just trying to make a living like all of us is not the answer. Their job is hard enough as it is so give them a break. Jake gave them more than a break. He gave them a song.


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