lunar new year, year of the tiger, black history month

They got soul power!

This year, Lunar New Year got funky.

If you were on social media Feb 1, you might have (very likely) seen posts commemorating the first day of the Chinese New Year, though it’s also celebrated in other Asian cultures.

Being the year of the Tiger, which symbolizes courage, bravery, boldness—all those awesome tiger-y things—we were pleasantly infiltrated with tiger memes and videos, including this adorable cutie:

Which I suppose is more of a dragon, but still.

However, since both Lunar New Year and the first day of Black History Month fell on the same day this year (not always the case), one dance group decided to do something extra festive. And it’s not hard to see why it’s become a viral sensation.

The TikTok video, now with nearly 4 million views, has a simple, yet effective caption: “we’re feeling good and ready to have a funky time.”

@danceon We’re feeling good and ready to have a funky time 🎶💃🕺 #Moga_almeri ♬ Doing It To Death - Pts. 1 & 2 - The J.B.'s

Everything about this performance is a delight: the fun flowy outfits, the undeniable amount of joy being had, the fabulous thwack-inspired choreography that elicits an insatiable urge to get up and shake it … it’s just glorious. And the fact that it’s set to iconic music of James Brown is what brings it all together.

lunar new year

MOGA Almeri being hella fly.

TikTok

A fan favorite is the front lead dancer lovingly nicknamed “Yellowpants.” Clearly, Yellowpants has fully embraced her inner tigress.

One person wrote, “The Black Delegation would like to welcome Yellowpants as an honorary Soul Sista.” I think we can all agree to that.

And just who is that groovy gold-clad dancer with the killer moves? The choreographer, MOGA Almeri.

Yellowpants wasn’t the only one getting internet love. “Brown checkered set was a whole vibe,” commented one TikTok user.

And hey, if you can’t pick a favorite, you’re not alone. One person asked “who is replaying the video focusing on a different dancer each time?”

This video is certainly taking social media by storm. It even received a retweet from Wanda Sykes.

But what’s truly remarkable isn’t its virality. The feelings of communion it has inspired is the real magic here. Just take a look at some of these comments:

“I’m loving this sooooo much. We need more of this unity and crossover appreciation.”

“I’m not a ‘retweeter’ generally…however, it was SPECIFICALLY because of the fusion of culture and the associated reference of blending Lunar NY with Black History Month which triggered HOPE inside my soul!”

Sometimes cultures blend in a way that is so fascinating and fresh and unique that it gives a whole new level of appreciation. This is one of those times.

If you’re already jonesing for more amazing routines, you can follow MOGA on Instagram. Here’s to a Happy Lunar New Year and a powerful Black History Month.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

Keep Reading Show less

Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

Keep Reading Show less
Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

Keep Reading Show less