The school assignment was intended to spark debate and discussion — but isn't that part of the problem?
It's not uncommon for parents to puzzle over their kids' homework.
Sometimes, it's just been too long since they've done long division for them to be of any help. Or teaching methods have just changed too dramatically since they were in school.And other times, kids bring home something truly inexplicable.
Trameka Brown-Berry was looking over her 4th-grade son Jerome's homework when her jaw hit the floor.
"Give 3 'good' reasons for slavery and 3 bad reasons," the prompt began.
You read that right. Good reasons ... FOR SLAVERY.
Lest anyone think there's no way a school would actually give an assignment like this, Brown-Berry posted photo proof to Facebook.
In the section reserved for "good reasons," (again, for slavery), Jerome wrote, "I feel there is no good reason for slavery thats why I did not write."
Yep. That about covers it.
The school assignment was intended to spark debate and discussion — but isn't that part of the problem?
The assignment was real. In the year 2018. Unbelievable.
The shockingly offensive assignment deserved to be thrown in the trash. But young Jerome dutifully filled it out anyway.
His response was pretty much perfect.
We're a country founded on freedom of speech and debating ideas, which often leads us into situations where "both sides" are represented. But it can only go so far.
There's no meaningful dialogue to be had about the perceived merits of stripping human beings of their basic living rights. No one is required to make an effort to "understand the other side," when the other side is bigoted and hateful.
In a follow-up post, Brown-Berry writes that the school has since apologized for the assignment and committed to offering better diversity and sensitivity training for its teachers.
But what's done is done, and the incident illuminates the remarkable racial inequalities that still exist in our country. After all, Brown-Berry told the Chicago Tribune, "You wouldn't ask someone to list three good reasons for rape or three good reasons for the Holocaust."
At the very end of the assignment, Jerome brought it home with a bang: "I am proud to be black because we are strong and brave ... "
Good for Jerome for shutting down the thoughtless assignment with strength and amazing eloquence.
This article originally appeared on 01.12.18
- A teacher had her 8th graders write 'funny' captions under slavery-era photos. Seriously, WTF. ›
- Classroom slide listing pros and cons of slavery is horrific - Upworthy ›
- Voice recordings of people who were enslaved offer incredible first-person accounts of U.S. history - Upworthy ›
- 'Drapetomania' was coined to explain why slaves ran away - Upworthy ›
The timeline cleanse that everyone needs.
Even as adults there are some things that make us so giddy with joy that you briefly feel like a kid again. It can be finding a four leaf clover on a walk, a tiny baby kitten or even warm cookies right out of the oven. Anything can give that inner child a chance to show itself but one delivery driver's inner child was captured on doorbell camera.
A FedEx driver had just delivered a package but when he's walking back to his truck he abruptly stops. The man spots something moving in the grass before picking it up to investigate it further. Turns out it was a baby turtle. Not just any baby turtle but one of the tiniest baby turtles you've ever seen and the delivery driver is immediately filled with excitement.
It was truly one of those moments where someone else needs to see what you see to release so of the joy into the atmosphere but there was no one around.
That didn't stop the delivery driver from sharing his glee. He noticed the doorbell camera and took his new baby buddy right up to the camera to show the owners of the house what he found. In the video shared on social media by Bright Side Fun, you can feel the excitement through the camera, commenters felt it too.
"I just saw him turn into a little boy to show off that baby turtle. I love this," one person writes.
"Awww, we think that's cool too! Sometimes it is the little things that get you through the day," another commenter says.
"This made me smile! We’re all big kids at heart that get excited about finding a baby turtle," someone exclaims.
Finding joy in the little things can certainly help you get through the day but watching this video will warm your heart. Check it out below:
Plus, some other terms that made 2023 a historic year.
The wordsmiths over at Merriam-Webster have announced their official “Word of the Year for 2023,” they say it’s something we are “thinking about, writing about, aspiring to, and judging more” than ever.
The word is authentic.
According to the dictionary, the most common definitions of authentic are “not false or imitation,” “being true to one's own personality, spirit, or character,” and “worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact.”
Merriam-Webster says the word saw a “substantial increase” in lookups this year. That’s probably because we now live in a world where artificial intelligence, deepfake technology and questionable memes challenge our basic notions of reality.
Authenticity is also seen as a commodity at a time when influencers build their brands on social media while attempting to seamlessly pitch their "favorite" products. These days, the average person scrolls through over 43 feet of content every day on social media. After being exposed to countless images of people, it becomes easier to spot the phonies from those who are being their authentic selves.
“When we look at common threads across the thousands of influencer marketing campaigns we’ve run at The Outloud Group over the last 15 years, the similarity between all of our best-performing brand creator partnerships is pretty simple: true authenticity,” Bradley Hoos, CEO of The Outland Group, a full-service influencer marketing agency, writes in Forbes.
Merriam-Webster adds that authenticity is a trait people strove to find for themselves in 2023.
“Celebrities like singers Lainey Wilson, Sam Smith, and especially Taylor Swift all made headlines in 2023 with statements about seeking their ‘authentic voice’ and ‘authentic self,” Merriam-Webster writes. “Headlines like Three Ways To Tap Into Taylor Swift’s Authenticity And Build An Eras-Like Workplace associate this quality with pop-culture superpower.”
The dictionary also highlighted more words that trended in 2023, including:
“Rizz” — Internet slang for "romantic appeal or charm" (noun) or "to charm, seduce" (verb), popularized by YouTuber Kai Cenat, was added to the dictionary.
“Deepfake” — Altered images or recordings that convincingly misrepresent someone's actions or words, making it hard to distinguish between real and fake.
“Coronation” — The crowning of a new British monarch, King Charles III, sent people to the dictionary’s website to learn the term's meaning.
“Dystopian” — In 2023, “dystopian” was a verb applied to many frightening real-world issues and was used to describe the trend in video games, books and movies depicting a dark future.
“EGOT” — Lookups for “EGOT” spiked in February when Viola Davis won a Grammy for the audiobook version of her memoir. That made her one of the 18 people to become an EGOT, or winner of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards.
“X” — When Twitter was rebranded as X on July 23, searches for the term spiked at Merriam-Webster.com, where curious people went to discover more about the mysterious letter.
“Implode” — When a submersible that went to visit the remains of the Titanic in June imploded, the term had a considerable spike as people attempted to learn more about the passengers’ fate.
“Doppelgänger” — This term got hot multiple times in 2023. It trended twice due to stories out of Germany and New York involving the attempted murder or suicide of someone’s lookalike. Further, September saw the release of Naomi Klein’s book, “Doppelgänger: A Trip Into the Mirror World.”
The sweet and thoughtful idea has other parents taking note.
Babymoons have become a very popular activity for expecting parents. It’s a celebratory vacation for parents to bask in quiet, relaxing one-on-one time before the baby comes. Think of it as one last hurrah before parenthood.
However, one couple has turned the idea on its head—focusing not on themselves, but their first-born daughter who would soon become a sister. A video of their lovely “only child moon,” as they dubbed it, is currently making the rounds on TikTok and leaving people just a wee bit teary eyed.
“You’ve heard of a babymoon,” Lara Morgan Lee’s onscreen text reads. “But we took an ‘Only Child’ moon — a long weekend away for our 2.5-year-old before she becomes a big sister to twins!”
The long weekend trip consisted of a jaunt to New York City, where the family enjoyed Central Park, coffee shops and fine dining—which seemed to include yummy pizza and ice cream.
@sportsdrmorgan 10/10 highly recommend #babymoon #pregnanttiktok #twinpregnancy #pregnancyexercise #firsttrimester #secondtrimester #pregnantover40 #advancedmaternalage ♬ Do You Believe in Magic - The Lovin' Spoonful
“She got some adventure time with mom and dad, and we got time to enjoy her before the chaos ensues. One more special memory we made.”
The clip is just shy of thirty seconds, but speaks volumes. Several parents chimed in to say how thoughtful it was to make their daughter feel special.
“Pregnant with my second and sobbing right now, this is so sweet,” one person wrote.
Another added, “that’s such a great idea! I'll try to remember for when I get pregnant again!”
Many even had their own “only child moon stories.” One recalled “taking our 5-year-old on vacation before she had siblings was the best decision since we can’t travel as far now.” While another shared “we did the same! bowling, arcade, and hotel stay to swim. So many great memories for our little fam before baby #2 came!”
One parent even noted that an “only child moon” didn’t have to be expensive, saying they planned to have a special “movie night and Christmas lights weekend right before the baby comes.”
The thought of now sharing mom and dad with a new sibling can stir up different feelings for kids. Some may be instantly on board and excited to welcome in a baby brother or sister. For others, it can be a confusing and scary time.
Sad child sitting on the ground
There are, however, lots of ways to make the moment a positive one, primarily by involving them as much as possible and doing small things to reassure them that they are still loved. Which is what makes this “only child moon” such a good one—it covers both bases.
These days, parents are finding all kinds of creative ways to give their kiddos the healthiest, happiest childhood possible. Not only that, they’re establishing new behaviors that also promote their own wellbeing. Of course this isn’t the case for everyone, but more and more people are reclaiming the concept of family as a gentle, nourishing, and completely customizable support system for the entire tribe, and it’s beautiful to see. Here’s to more of that.
What’s the point of expiration dates if they’re not real?!
Envision preparing for months to celebrate your mom's birthday abroad in Dubai only to get to the airport to watch your entire family board the plane without you. One woman doesn't have to imagine because it happened to her, taking the stranded woman on multiple unwelcome adventures.
Nneoma and several members of her family planned a trip to Dubai for her mom's birthday but when it was time to board the flight, the woman was denied. She thought she had everything in order not knowing that if your passport is expiring within six months of leaving the country–you can't leave. The devastation she must've felt hearing she couldn't join her family.
But Nneoma had a plan. She would simply go to a same day passport place and renew her unexpired passport then catch a flight the next day to join the festivities. The woman planned and the universe laughed. It was not that easy.
You'd think in a place like New York City getting a same day passport would be easy peezy, but it wasn't easy and it certainly was peezy unless you count unofficial potties on the subway. Nneoma went home and immediately started attempting to call same day passport places to get an appointment and was thwarted with every phone call.
She decided that she would just take a chance and wake up early the next morning to head to the agency in person. The line to get in the door was laughable and once again she was left sans renewed passport. But the left behind daughter was determined to celebrate with her mother making her undeterred. It took calling a friend of a friend who claimed to have secret access to passport appointments and flying to another part of the state to conclude the multi-day saga.
I cant believe this happened to me. Let me if you guys want a Part 2 🥲 #astoldbynneoma #travel #vlog #passport #lifestyle #storytime #grwm #fyp #relateable #skincare
How she secured a much sought after appointment leaves questions but in the end Nneoma was able to join her family even though the airport lost her luggage. But let her experience be a lesson in checking your passport has plenty of time left on it before planning to fly out of the country. The expiration date on passports is mainly for identification purposes, international travel is a completely different circumstance requiring renewal months in advance.
Replying to @charitycase60 I honestly cant make this up 😭 Let me know if you guys want a Part 3 😩 #AsToldByNneoma #travel #travelnoire #lifestyle #passport #flight #tips #storytime #grwm #family #relatable #fyp #vlog #delta
People think she was right to do it, too.
A grandmother always felt her middle granddaughter Lindsay, 15, looked slightly different from the rest of the family because she had blonde, curly hair, while the rest of her siblings’ hair was dark “I thought genetics was being weird and I love her,” she wrote on Reddit’s AITA forum.
But things became serious after Linday’s parents “banned” her from taking things a step further and getting a DNA test. If the family was sure their daughter was theirs, why would they forbid her from seeking clarity in the situation? After the parents laid down the law, the situation started to seem a little suspicious.
“I told my son and [daughter-in-law] that there was something fishy around her birth she needed to know. They denied it and told me to leave it alone,” the grandma wrote.
Lindsay wouldn’t give up her quest. She approached her biology teacher, who admitted that it was “odd” for her to have such different traits. This confusion was too much for Lindsay, so she went to her grandmother for help. “She came to me distressed, asking me to buy a DNA test since she needs to know,” the grandmother wrote.
She had blonde, curly hair. But her siblings all had black hair.
The grandmother purchased a DNA test and it proved their suspicions. “Long story short, she is not her mother's kid,” the grandmother wrote. “My son got someone else pregnant and her bio mom gave her up.”
The interesting thing was that Lindsay was a middle child. So, the dad had a baby with another woman while he was with his wife. This revelation begs the question: How did the family suddenly have a baby out of nowhere without people being suspicious?
“They were on the other side of the country when she was born, and I met Lindsey when she was about 6 months old. Really not hard to hide the whole thing,” the grandmother wrote. “Our family has a history of miscarriages, so it’s common to drop news about a baby late in the pregnancy. They did the same with their oldest and didn't think anything about it.”
The big revelation has caused friction in the family. The family no longer talks to the grandmother, which makes Lindsay even more furious about the situation.
Should the grandmother have taken such drastic steps if she knew what could happen if her suspicions were true? The commenters on Reddit overwhelmingly supported the grandmother’s decision. The big reason was that Lindsay needed to know her family history for medical reasons.
"Your son and his wife suck for lying to her until she is 15 about something so important and trying to keep lying to her even after she obviously started to question things. There are medical reasons a person might need to know what their genetics are/are not, and if you hadn’t helped her, she would have found out some other way," Shake_Speare423 wrote.
Another commenter noted that protecting the parents’ lie wasn’t nearly as important as Lindsay’s mental health.
"People have a right to know their genetic heritage. Lying about adoption is linked to increased suicidal ideation, anxiety, and depression. You put her safety and comfort ahead of your son’s preferences. Parental rights do not have greater value than a child’s right to access comprehensive medical care, and hiding an adoption does precisely that. Maybe some things, like a child staying healthy, should matter more than a parent's right to lie, gaslight and manipulate their child as they see fit," RemembrancerLirael added.
The commenters overwhelmingly supported the grandma for putting herself into an uncomfortable situation to protect her granddaughter’s mental and physical health. However, one commenter noted that she could have gone about it in a less polarizing way.
“Bit out of the norm for the responses here, but you should have gone through your son [and daughter-in-law] and convinced them. Told them that the biology teacher had highlighted that she had traits that didn't make sense, etc. and convinced them that Lindsey would find out either way,” PhilMcGraw wrote. “It would have allowed them to find a way to tell her without it being forced on them angrily. A DNA test is the absolute worst way to be told. I'm sure they would have much rather told her than let her find out by a DNA test if that is what was coming.”