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.

More
Youtube

Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

Most Shared
via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

Keep Reading Show less
Family