Carole King and President Obama couldn't even handle this Aretha Franklin performance.

There are performances, and then there are performances.

Photo by CBS/YouTube.


More specifically, there are performances that you walk away from thinking, "Yeah, cool. Cool concert."

Then there are the kind of performances that people talk about for years. The kind that makes them run home immediately to kiss their children and pets and tell all their friends how much they truly love them. The kind that makes grown men weep, babies talk, and cats and dogs put away their differences forever.

Aretha Franklin just gave one of those performances.


Photo by CBS/YouTube.

It happened at the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C., where dozens of artists, politicians, and general bigwigs had gathered to pay tribute to songwriter Carole King — among others.

The ceremony was humming along pretty much pleasantly, when the 73-year-old Franklin stepped up to the mic and busted out a jaw-dropping rendition of "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," which King wrote for the singer in 1967.

There once was a time where performances like these were once-in-a-lifetime occurrences, never to be experienced again like they were that very first time. (Yes, Aunt Cindy, I do wish I had been alive to see Country Joe and the Fish at Woodstock. I'm extremely sorry I wasn't.)

Fortunately, it's 2015, and there is YouTube.


The performance inspired a lot of feelings among the assembled guests, including...

King losing her mind.

GIFs via CBS.

President Obama tearing up...

...and later pumping his fist in triumph.

An entire crowd of fancy, tuxedo people leaping to their feet.

Yep, that's everything. Everything anybody could want out of anything.

It's a true must-watch.

I won't blame you if you don't watch it. But you'll be cheating yourself. And Aunt Cindy will never let you live it down. (Yes, yes! I know, Aunt Cindy. My generation will never experience such a sublime a moment of peace and togetherness.)

Please do yourself a favor and go watch it. It's my New Year's gift to you and yours.

Photo courtesy of Capital One
True

Growing up in Virginia, Dominique Meeks Gombe idolized her family physician — a young Black woman who inspired Meeks Gombe to pursue her passion for chemistry.

While Meeks Gombe began her career working in an environmental chemistry lab, after observing multiple inefficient processes in and around the lab, she took the initiative to teach herself to code in order to automate and streamline those issues.

That sparked her love for coding and imminent career shift. Now a software engineer at Capital One, Meeks Gombe wants to be a similar role model to her childhood mentor and encourage girls to pursue any career they desire.

"I'm so passionate about technology because that's where the world is going," Meeks Gombe said. "All of today's problems will be solved using technology. So it's very important for me, as a Black woman, to be at the proverbial table with my unique perspective."

Since 2019, she and her fellow Capital One associates have partnered with the Capital One Coders program and Girls For A Change to teach coding fundamentals to middle school girls.

The nonprofit's mission is aimed at empowering Black girls in Central Virginia. The organization focuses on designing, leading, funding and implementing social change projects that tackle issues girls face in their own neighborhoods.

Girls For a Change is one of many local nonprofits that receive support from the Capital One Impact Initiative, which strives to close gaps in equity while helping people gain better access to economic and social opportunities. The initial $200 million, five-year national commitment aims to support growth in underserved communities as well as advance socioeconomic mobility.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

As it turns out, underdog stories can have cats as the main character.

Purrington Cat Lounge, where "adoptable cats roam freely and await your visit" and patrons can pay a small entry fee for the chance to sip coffee alongside feline friends, boasted legendary adoption rates since its conception in January 2015.


Keep Reading Show less