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Things were white-hot in and around Detroit in 1937 when it came to unionizing auto workers.

The National Labor Relations Act, just established in 1935, gave workers a lot more rights when it came to organizing, and it included the right to distribute information at the gates of factories to get out the truth about what it meant to join a union and gain workers' rights.

The United Auto Workers had had some big successes at Chrysler and General Motors and was gaining ground with Ford, but the latter company fought hard against letting the union in.


One of the key events that turned the tide has been known ever since as The Battle of the Overpass, at Ford's massive River Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan.

On May 26, 1937, the UAW decided to take action with an informational flyer and newsletter campaign talking about the newly-won rights under the NLRA as well as a campaign to raise wages from $6 for an 8-hour work day ($99 in today's dollars) to $8 for a 6-hour day ($132 today).

Sure, they were shooting high, but it was designed to get attention — and to get Ford talking. The River Rouge plant, one of the largest of its kind in the world, had 9,000 workers that the UAW wanted to reach.


Original flyer passed out at the gate, Ford River Rouge Plant, 1937. Image via Walter P. Reuther Library.

After many workers took the flyers that the roughly 40 organizers had been passing out all day long, UAW organizers Walter Reuther, Richard Frankensteen, and two more gathered on the pedestrian overpass over Miller Road at gate 4 of the plant for photos by Detroit News photographer James R. "Scotty" Kilpatrick. The Ford logo was behind them, which is why they chose that spot.

It was a fateful decision.

Private security guards from Ford came out (some estimates were as high as 40) and attacked them.

"Just look at the smiles on their ... OWWW! STOP THAT!" Image by James Kilpatrick/Detroit News via U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

The organizers were beat, kicked, thrown down stairs (breaking the back of one of the men), and slammed into the ground.

The photographer was also accosted by the guards, who demanded he turn over the photographic plates to them so they could be destroyed. In a brilliant move, he hid the actual plates under the seat of his car and gave them blanks.

Those damned union thugs. Oh, wait ... Image by James Kilpatrick/Detroit News via U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

This turned out to be a crucial decision. After the battle was over, Ford immediately began to spin the incident to make itself look like the victim.

The head of security for Ford, Harry Bennett, told Time magazine that the "affair was deliberately provoked by union officials ... they simply wanted to provoke a charge of Ford brutality. ... I know definitely no Ford service man or plant police were involved in any way in the fight."

But as soon as Kilpatrick's photographs were developed, they hit the presses, and the tide turned quickly when newspapers all over the country featured the brutality of Ford's hired goons. Public opinion was firmly on the side of the workers.

In fact, when Henry Ford's lawyers and Bennett were called in front of the newly-established National Labor Relations Board on violating the National Labor Relations Act in dozens of ways, members of the press — such as Kilpatrick — gave the most damning evidence along with Ford workers who testified that if anybody who worked in the belly of the Ford beast expressed an interest at all in unionizing, they were fired immediately and escorted out of the plant.

All of this happened in 1937, and Henry Ford finally realized he had to recognize the union and negotiate a contract.

Walter Reuther (left), future president of the UAW, and organizer Richard Frankensteen are shown immediately after the attack. By the look in Walter's eyes, it seems he had a heart of gold. Image via Walter P. Reuther Library.

Three years later, the UAW finally had its first collective bargaining agreement with Ford.

The combined one-two punch of the publicity around the Battle of the Overpass and the National Labor Relations Board hearings gave Ford no alternative.

The UAW went on to help create good union jobs and, eventually, help millions of people achieve a middle-class income with health insurance and pensions as well.

Its peak membership was 1.5 million in 1979.

What can we learn from this?

In 1937, these workers fought for an increase in wages to make better lives for their families and their communities. They gave their blood, and sometimes their very lives, in order to make sure future generations had it better than they did.

We're at a turning point in this country. Unions now represent a historically low number of working people while income inequality is at one of the most extreme levels ever.These two facts are related.

It's time we rebuilt the labor movement and turned it into the force for good jobs that it once was.

BONUS! Get into the spirit of the times with this retro clip of a bird's-eye view of the enormity of the Ford River Rouge plant in 1937, complete with florid voice-over worthy of William Shatner.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/embed/WjMcY7ON6qU?start=84&end=118 expand=1]

For more, check the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University. Also, if you ever get to Michigan, UAW Local 600 has a collection of photos about the Battle of the Overpass as well as the 1932 Ford Hunger March.

Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

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Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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