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Things a black kid is often taught not to do that his white friends can are heartbreaking.

This is what it's like to be raised as a black child. "The talk" is slightly different than most people get.

Clint Smith, an amazing educator and writer, spoke at TED's annual conference about what it's like to be raised as a black child.

He shared "the talk" that black kids all across America hear from their parents:


All GIFs via TED2015.

As a white kid, growing up, I never got a talk like this from my parents. No one ever told me I couldn't pretend to shoot guns. No one ever told me to be extra careful around the police. I was able to just be a kid.

For Clint and for other kids like him, "just being a kid" isn't that easy. This kind of warning isn't an overreaction from overprotective parents.

"With the average age overestimation for black boys exceeding four-and-a-half years, in some cases, black children may be viewed as adults when they are just 13 years old."

A 2014 study found that black boys are perceived as older and more threatening than they really are.

There's actual science indicating that black boys as young as 10 are perceived to be 4.5 years older than they are.

As co-author of the study Dr. Phillip Goff stated, "Our research found that black boys can be seen as responsible for their actions at an age when white boys still benefit from the assumption that children are essentially innocent."

Co-author Dr. Matthew Jackson added, “With the average age overestimation for black boys exceeding four-and-a-half years, in some cases, black children may be viewed as adults when they are just 13 years old."

This suspicion of black children doesn't end when they grow up.

I spoke with Clint over email and asked him for examples of things that kids like me grew up taking for granted that he couldn't, and how that translated into adulthood.

"I can only speak for myself," he told me, "but just within the past week: I've been followed around in a store in the very neighborhood where I live, it's been implied to me that I only got into graduate school because of affirmative action, and I've been passed by taxi cab after taxi cab just trying to get home from work."

"It's the small things, the sort of daily reality of being made constantly aware of your otherness, that exacts trauma and exhaustion on people of color on an ongoing basis," he said.

People with "black-sounding" names are 50% less likely to be called into job interviews.

A University of Chicago study found that having a "black-sounding" name meant a person received 50% fewer calls to be interviewed — with the exact same résumé.

They concluded that having a white name looks like the equivalent of about eight more years of experience to a prospective employer.

"It's the small things, the sort of daily reality of being made constantly aware of your otherness, that exacts trauma and exhaustion on people of color on an ongoing basis."

And black people are far more at risk for being pulled over and/or arrested.

In Boston, black people made up 63.3% of police stops while being only 24.4% of the population. And here's the kicker: 97% of the stops didn't involve a seizure or arrest.

According to a recent piece over at Slate (emphasis mine), "if you compare the murder rate among police officers with the murder rate in several American cities, you find that it is far safer to be a NYPD officer than an average black man in Baltimore or St. Louis."

With numbers like that — and believe me, there are a ton more — black parents have to have a talk with their kids that the rest of us don't.

But Clint refuses to accept that the way things are is the way things need to stay.

There's an easy way to help move this conversation in a productive direction: by talking about it. By letting people know that bias is real and we have to be aware of it if we're gonna fix it.

Making the world safe and just for everyone involves getting stories like Clint's out there. The more that others realize the injustices, pain, and unique lived experiences of those around them, the more equipped we all are to address them.

Imagine a world where black parents don't have to give that talk to their kids.

That's the world I want to live in. How about you?


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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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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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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