full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Mia Birdsong: The story we tell about poverty isn't true

Unscramble the Blue Letters

For every srtoy I hear demonizing low-income single mothers or absentee fathers, which is how people might think of my parents, I've got 50 that tell a different story about the same people, showing up every day and doing their best. I'm not saying that some of the netiagve stories aren't true, but those stories allow us to not really see who peploe really are, because they don't paint a full picture. The quarter-truths and limited plot lines have us convinced that poor people are a problem that needs fixing. What if we recognized that what's working is the people and what's broken is our acprpaoh? What if we rzeaield that the eeprxts we are looking for, the experts we need to follow, are poor people themselves? What if, instead of imposing solutions, we just added fire to the already-burning flame that they have? Not directing — not even empowering — but just fueling their itnaitviie.

Open Cloze

For every _____ I hear demonizing low-income single mothers or absentee fathers, which is how people might think of my parents, I've got 50 that tell a different story about the same people, showing up every day and doing their best. I'm not saying that some of the ________ stories aren't true, but those stories allow us to not really see who ______ really are, because they don't paint a full picture. The quarter-truths and limited plot lines have us convinced that poor people are a problem that needs fixing. What if we recognized that what's working is the people and what's broken is our ________? What if we ________ that the _______ we are looking for, the experts we need to follow, are poor people themselves? What if, instead of imposing solutions, we just added fire to the already-burning flame that they have? Not directing — not even empowering — but just fueling their __________.

Solution

  1. story
  2. experts
  3. approach
  4. negative
  5. realized
  6. people
  7. initiative

Original Text

For every story I hear demonizing low-income single mothers or absentee fathers, which is how people might think of my parents, I've got 50 that tell a different story about the same people, showing up every day and doing their best. I'm not saying that some of the negative stories aren't true, but those stories allow us to not really see who people really are, because they don't paint a full picture. The quarter-truths and limited plot lines have us convinced that poor people are a problem that needs fixing. What if we recognized that what's working is the people and what's broken is our approach? What if we realized that the experts we are looking for, the experts we need to follow, are poor people themselves? What if, instead of imposing solutions, we just added fire to the already-burning flame that they have? Not directing — not even empowering — but just fueling their initiative.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
hard work 3
poor people 3
marginalized communities 2
extra money 2
beautifully complex 2
reconciliation process 2

Important Words

  1. absentee
  2. added
  3. approach
  4. broken
  5. convinced
  6. day
  7. demonizing
  8. directing
  9. empowering
  10. experts
  11. fathers
  12. fire
  13. fixing
  14. flame
  15. follow
  16. fueling
  17. full
  18. hear
  19. imposing
  20. initiative
  21. limited
  22. lines
  23. mothers
  24. negative
  25. paint
  26. parents
  27. people
  28. picture
  29. plot
  30. poor
  31. problem
  32. realized
  33. recognized
  34. showing
  35. single
  36. solutions
  37. stories
  38. story
  39. true
  40. working