+

Powerful, right?

If you don't have time for the video, but still want to hear Marshal Davis Jones' stunning words, he also provided a text version of the poem:


last night
I had the most interesting dream.
in it
I was six years old
in a national spelling bee.
genius
complex words….
duodenum….
serendipity.....
floccinaucinihilipilification.
up until the final round
one word between me and victory
the spell master clears his throat
young man your word is father
the crowd began to chatter amongst themselves
seemingly displeased
at the simplicity of this final word
I searched for those eyes
those eyes that say
"every things going to be ok. just do it"
I dazed off
young man!
your word is father
I stood up straight, licked my lips and began
father, m-o-t-h-e-r, father…
the spell master looks at me,
down at his flash card,
back up at me
"sorry but you are incorrect"
I don't understand
my fathers sitting right in the audience
"excuse me?'
"I am sorry son but you are incorrect"
well then
you can save your sorry apologies
because you must mean "in-correct"
as in within the parameters of being right.
let me explain something to you
cuz obviously you aint grow up
where poppas are rolling stones
down the hills of women's backsides
and when he's gone
all he's left us
was alone
where minstrel men stroll around on bikes
while fathers balanced their menstrual,
2 jobs,
2 kids
and a life
on a unicycle
and it looks something like this:
breastfeeding on one arm
phone on the shoulder
cooking with the other arm
cleaning with one leg
tying sneakers with their teeth
young fathers
who make mistakes
because we are not all perfect
but the one mistake they never make
is abandoning their seeds
you see fathers
are master gardeners
they tend to every leaf
removing the weeds
placing us in the windows of opportunity
so that we can lean towards the sun
and never forget that the sky is the limit
planting kisses on our cheeks
hugs on our backs
growing their love on us
the best way they know how
like my father
my father, sacrificed owning nothing,
that I may have everything
my father, walked a daily nightmare
so that I may live out my dreams
my father watered me
with blood sweat and tears
so that I may be ripe
for the harvest
and I hope that one day
I can grow up to be as great a father
as she was for me
you did not ask me spell deadbeat sir...
but if you want dead beat here it is:
f-a-t-h-e-r, d-a-d, d-a-d-d-y, p-o-p
p-o-p-s, if you want the slang
you asked me to spell father
and father is,
always has been
and always will be spelled
m-o-t-h-e-r
so get your encyclopedias,
show me your flash cards
open your dictionary
cuz what webster says
means nothing around here
around here,
my father is sitting right there...
and I love her.



































































































Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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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.

Alien Ant Farm's "Smooth Criminal" cover still rocks.

When Micheal Jackson released "Smooth Criminal" in 1988, I was a 13-year-old named Annie. As you can imagine, the "Annie, are you okay?" jokes came fast and furious, and they haven't let up much in the three and a half decades since.

It's all good. Those jokes gave me a respite from the "Annie get your gun" and "little orphan Annie" ones, and besides, it's a great song. It wasn't Jackson's biggest hit, but it was always my favorite, and not just because it bore my name. The music video—a nine-minute, dance-heavy mini-movie set in the 1930s gangster era—made it even better.

But apparently, mentioning "Smooth Criminal" or "Annie, are you okay?" to the younger folks doesn't conjure up the zoot suits and dimly lit speakeasy images it does for me. For them, it brings up images of an alternative rock punk band playing in a … boxing ring?

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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