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The Dear Black Girl project was for black women. So here's what a white woman wrote on Facebook.

Last week, I wrote about a letter writing campaign called "Dear Black Girl" created by nonprofit The Beautiful Project. Today, you can get a first glimpse at some of those letters.

The project encouraged black women (aged 18 and older) to write letters beginning with the phrase, "Dear Black Girl...," to support, teach, love, and inspire young black girls everywhere. And The Beautiful Project has just begun sharing some of the amazing letters they received on their blog.

When my story went live, I hoped that it would inspire more black women to contribute to the campaign. And it did. The outpouring of love and letters that were posted right there on Facebook was fantastic. It included heart-melting quotes like this one from Upworthy reader Sharon Eli:


Dear Black Girl,
...God loves you SO very much! If he had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.

Me reading the letters from our readers. GIF via "Animaniacs."


I was also bracing myself for the usual barrage of not-nice comments I receive from non-black readers any time I write about something that is focused so narrowly on people of color. But that backlash didn't come this time.

In fact, a response that didn't fit within the guidelines of the campaign ended up being one of my favorites.

It was written by a non-black woman named Stephanie Borns on Upworthy's Facebook page.

In her comment, she acknowledged an appreciation for the fact that the official campaign wasn't "for her" — she respected its goals and intended audience. So she was happy to share her story in our comments section on Facebook. It was too touching not to share here, with her permission.

It began with this:

And here is the rest of the note in its entirety (emphasis mine):

My best friend in grades two and three was a black girl named Wendy. We walked to school together every day. We played together after school every day. I had supper at her house at least a few nights a week. She came to my house, we sat on each other's porches and watched Thunderstorms and chased after the big kids on our bikes in the summertime. She lived across the street from me in Verdun, Que.

My family was a mess, my father was having affairs, my parents would soon move us out of there and across the country to a place that was just about completely white and then they would divorce. So things weren't very good for me.

But things were good at Wendy's house. Wendy's mom was kind, her brothers — well, they were brothers but they let us listen with them to the records they played of comedians and musicians I would carry with me for the rest of my life. I learned to dance and to laugh at Wendy's house.

Every day, on the way to school and on the way home, the mean kids would tease us. Sometimes they'd throw things. They'd yell stupid things — the way kids do but this was in Canada (Montreal) and compared to some places, I understand now, that what we lived with wasn't all that bad compared to what happens in other places.

Still, I wanted to cover Wendy and keep her safe when people made fun of her hair or her color or her size. I wanted to be able to protect her. But I couldn't. I was just a kid, like her.

I could yell back. And so, yell I did and Wendy yelled too. We were the yellingest 8-year-olds you ever met and we weren't sorry either. We kept each other safe.

We didn't have email back then so when I moved away I lost my best friend. It felt really lonely to be stuck all the way out on the West Coast where nobody listened to the music I liked and nobody knew the comedians that made me laugh. I missed Wendy every day. I never got used to living in a place where everybody was white, I never felt comfortable there.

We both wanted to be teachers. I don't know if she became a professional teacher in her adult life but being with Wendy taught me a lot of things I didn't know I was learning.

So, Dear Black Girl, You are a gift. You are someone worth remembering, always. I hope you learn to be a mighty, yelling girl, like Wendy and I hope your friends will always take your side against the bullies. I remember you.

I will always stand up for little black girls everywhere because we're the same. We're all the same and when we lose each other, when a neighborhood, or someone's prejudice takes us apart, I'm not sure what you lose, I don't know if you ever missed me, but I know, I lost a lot.

Wendy, I hope you are well. I hope you are thriving. I loved being allowed to be part of your culture for a little while. I hope I was as good a friend to you as you were to me. You were my very best friend, you were my safe haven, and I will look for you, and try to look out for your sisters and your cousins and your daughters and granddaughters, for as long as I live.

And when the bullies start to cluster, I still yell back.

I don't want to take up space where a black woman can stand but it does seem to me that there is pretty much limitless space on a facebook comment thread so I wanted, somewhere, to go on record as saying Thank You. To know you, is to love you.























Stephanie's story got plenty of responses, but one of the first comments summed up why her letter was still worth writing, even though she couldn't participate in The Beautiful Project's powerful campaign:

Thank you, Stephanie. And thanks to the thousands of other women of all races who are committed to telling little black girls just how wonderful and magical they are.

Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

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Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson in 2006.

A startling number of professional athletes face financial hardships after they retire. The big reason is that even though they make a lot of money, the average sports career is relatively short: 3.3 years in the NFL; 4.6 years in the NBA; and 5.6 years in MLB. During that time, athletes often dole out money to friends and family members who helped them along the way and can fall victim to living lavish, unsustainable lifestyles.

After the athlete retires they are likely to earn a lot less money, and if they don’t adjust their spending, they’re in for some serious trouble.

In a candid interview with NFL Hall of Famer and TV personality Shannon Sharpe, Chad Ochocinco (legally Chad Johnson) revealed that he saved 80 to 83% of the $48 million he made in the NFL by faking his lavish lifestyle because it made no sense to him.

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Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Family

American mom living in Germany lists postpartum support and women are gobsmacked

“Every video you make gets me closer to actually moving to Germany.”

U.S. mom living in Germany shares postpartum support she received.

Having a baby is not an easy feat no matter which way they come out. The pregnant person is either laboring for hours and then pushing for what feels like even more hours, or they're getting cut from hip to hip to bring about their bundle of joy. (Unless you're one of those lucky—or rather not-so-lucky—folks who get to labor for hours only to still end up in surgery.)

Giving birth is hard and healing afterward can feel dang near impossible, especially given that most states in the U.S. only offer six weeks of maternity leave and it's typically unpaid. But did you know that not everyone has that experience?

A mom who had her first child in the U.S. before meeting her current husband and relocating to Germany is shedding light on postpartum care in her new country. The stark contrast is beyond shocking to women living in the U.S. and she's got a few considering crossing the ocean for a better quality of life.

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Meghan Elinor chimes in on the Starbucks tipping debate.

Tipping culture is rapidly changing in America, so understandably a lot of people aren’t sure what to do when they buy a coffee and the debit card reader asks for a tip. It used to be that people only tipped bartenders, drivers, servers and hairdressers.

Now people are being asked to tip just about any time they encounter a point-of-sale system. There is a big difference between tipping a server who lugged around hot plates of food for an hour-long meal and someone who simply handed you an ice cream cone.

"We're living in an era of inflation, but on top of that, we've got tipping everywhere—tipflation. I take it a step further and call it a tipping invasion. Because that's really what I think it is," etiquette expert Thomas Farley (aka Mister Manners) told CBS 8.

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Pop Culture

One moment in history shot Tracy Chapman to music stardom. Watch it now.

She captivated millions with nothing but her guitar and an iconic voice.

Imagine being in the crowd and hearing "Fast Car" for the first time

While a catchy hook might make a song go viral, very few songs create such a unifying impact that they achieve timeless resonance. Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” is one of those songs.

So much courage and raw honesty is packed into the lyrics, only to be elevated by Chapman’s signature androgynous and soulful voice. Imagine being in the crowd and seeing her as a relatively unknown talent and hearing that song for the first time. Would you instantly recognize that you were witnessing a pivotal moment in musical history?

For concert goers at Wembley Stadium in the late 80s, this was the scenario.

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