Here’s your week in review, in haiku.
Labor on the Day
for resilience! RGB
comes back from cancer
faster than we recover
from her name trending.
Have a restful long weekend! RaceAhead returns Tuesday, September 3. Sending love to all in the path of Dorian.
Trump administration to deport kids being treated for life-threatening illnesses Families who have been granted special permission to be in the U.S. to get specialized medical care for a loved one have now been told that they have 33 days to leave the country. It is expected the policy will be applied retroactively to anyone who has filed an application on or before Aug. 7, 2019. The stories are wrenching. “This is a new low even for Donald Trump,” Sen. Ed Markey, (D-Mass.), said in a conference call with reporters Thursday. NBC News
Women of color are dying to be beautiful Worse, they may not even realize it. In a global marketplace still informed by anti-black standards of beauty, women of color all over the world are using bleaching creams on their skin. The issue: Many are laced with mercury, even when manufacturers claim they are safe. Compounding the problem are the counterfeit creams, created by bootleggers trying to get a piece of the estimated $20 billion industry. Praise to the “mercury hunters of Manilla” profiled in this piece, they are a small part of a necessary group of stealth product testers and watchdogs trying to get the toxic products out of the hands of women. Bloomberg Businessweek
Coco Gauff and Naomi Osaka are poised to meet in a GOAT match-up for the ages If you don’t know already, COCO GAUFF IS FIFTEEN, as every journalist is obligated to shout, and yes, she is absolutely killing it at the U.S. Open. She is the youngest player to reach the third round of the U.S. Open since 1996 and is now a full-grown American tennis darling. The crowd, who has developed a specialty chant just for her, loves her and she loves them back. “I mean it gets me super pumped and I’m like, wow I’m really so grateful I’m playing in front of all you guys and you actually believe in me and, like, this is just the beginning I promise and I promise to always fight for you guys and thank you so much for all your support.” She takes on Naomi Osaka tomorrow. Enjoy the new normal. Deadspin
In search of shared sisterhood at work This is the poignant quest undertaken by Beth A. Livingston and Tina R. Opie, both researchers and management professors. (Opie’s name may be familiar, she’s the founder of hairasidentity.com and naturalhairatwork.com.) The idea of alliances or meaningful connections between women, “allows us to share struggles together, realize that we’re not alone, that the pain we’re going through is something bigger than us,” says Opie. But when they created a survey to explore the theme of workplace sisterhood, they found a significant difference in how “inclusive” environments were experienced by white and black women. “You can’t build meaningful connections between women of different races and ethnicities, let alone ask them to advocate for their collective advancement, if black and Hispanic women report being excluded from the relationships required to make an organization run.” A must read and share. HBR
Thank hundreds of men named George for your day off Labor Day is the result of many worker-rights efforts in the late 1800s, and the holiday was made official by President Grover Cleveland in 1894. But the most dramatic of these protests came from Pullman sleeping car company workers, all black men, who endured brutal and demeaning working conditions for very little pay. Owner George Pullman, who insisted all the porters be called “George,” laid off hundreds of people while cutting the wages for others, during the recession of 1893. A strike followed, which halted rail traffic and commercial activity across much of the country. With one hand, Cleveland signed the Labor Day bill into law, with the other, he sent federal troops to Chicago to stop the walkout. It quickly turned bloody. Angry mobs set fires to rail cars and the National Guard opened fire on masses of people, killing 30, and wounding many more. History Channel
Why upstate New York knows only one kind of barbecue chicken It’s a funny story, perfectly timed for a world still recovering from chicken fever. In 1950, Robert C. Baker, a professor at Cornell University, had a big quest: To get meat-loving Americans (ie. white ones) to each more chicken. It was a tall order at the time, but the agricultural extension specialist was determined to grab some market share from the growing pork industry. To get the locals on board, he published a recipe for a vinegar-based brine in a Cornell newsletter that ended up igniting a type of chicken-fueled mania across upstate New York that rivaled The Sandwich of last week. The recipe was so popular that families wouldn’t show up for community or sporting events unless it was served. Put some respect on his name, he also invented the chicken nugget. Click through for the story and the recipe. Atlas Obscura
Let’s talk about system change Sheila Cannon is a researcher and assistant professor of social entrepreneurship at Trinity College Dublin. In this fascinating piece, she explores what it actually takes to get entrenched systems and societal attitudes to change, using what she’s learned, in part from her research on the LGBT movement in Ireland, and the decades-long quest to turn same-sex relationships from a crime to a human right. In this case, she’s tackling climate change, building on the momentum created by Greta Thunberg, the teen Swedish climate activist. The idea is to not adopt “token gestures” that may hurt more than they help. “System change happens when we don’t take our assumptions for granted, which allows more and more people to question the status quo,” she says. Click through for her whole rationale and be prepared to do some soul—or bottom line—searching. “Capitalism may seem permanent, but research shows that systems inevitably change over time, and are ultimately created and reinforced by us. But in order to change anything, people must question their own role in the system first.” Silicon Republic
Tamara El-Waylly helps write and produce raceAhead.
“As the role of the Pullman porter began to be diminished in the forties and the fifties, the culture and the racism of the south had not changed. And, as an example, some people who traveled the south were often so angered by it that they avoided it as much as they could—the rejection in the same hotel where you may have been the star in the front room [but] where you couldn’t get anything to eat or a place to sleep. Duke Ellington, as an example, rented or purchased two [Pullman] cars for his orchestra. And when they would finish with their assignment they would return to this to sleep and to eat and to practice. They never felt that insult.”
– Timuel Black, historian