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One word describes the Super Bowl LIV Half-Time Show of 2020…spectacular! It was an eye-popping, foot-stepping, booty-shaking extravaganza! The speed with which bodies moved can be likened to a branch dancing in a 100-mile cyclone.
Shakira hit the stage first, dressed in a skimpy, revealing outfit that accentuated every curve her body claimed. The choreography was simplistically designed, but masterfully executed. Every step, every “booty movement” by Shakira and the massive group of dancers, were in sync, rapid and exciting! Their bodies moved in ways one had never imagined were possible.
As viewers were catching their breaths from the vastness and creativity of Sakira, the music drifted in a tempo that matched the elegance of Jelo, perched above a mountain of human hands and bodies. Suddenly, the mood and scene changed, revealing a well-manicured body in a scanty black leather outfit. Jelo’s movement were sexy, enveloping, drawing one in… While equally as masterful as Shakira, it was easy to detect Jelo… as the eyes followed every shake, turn, step and suggestion.
Having witnessed numerous half-time super bowl shows, arguably, this was the best one ever. With eyes glued to the TV, watching every movement, another concept, other than artistry and skill, slowly emerged. These two Latina women expressed ownership–a rightful claim to a country many suggest is not theirs…suggesting people of their race are newcomers…undeserving in many ways. Observing these ladies, one witnessed Americans staking out a claim with dignity, courage, skill and confidence. Arrogance, while absent, self-assurance was not. Unmistakenly, Jelo sharpened this mood with words of a song such as “I was born,” and accentuated it by strutting around in a decorative, sleeveless, long coat with the colors and pattern of “Old Glory,” the American flag. It was a moment to behold!
As I watched an African American quarterback, Patrick Mahomes and running back Darrel Williams, lead their team to victory, a black woman, Yolanda Adams, sing America the Beautiful, and Latino Demi Lavato sing the National Anthem, I was reminded of the myriad contributions people of color have made to this country. Slaves played a major role in building it and every ethnic group has played a significant role in its establishment.
The massive dance groups surrounding Jelo and Shakira represented the colors of a nation revealing its proud diversity–black, brown and white. The theme was comforting, beckoning, embracing. After two weeks of following a nation seemingly stomping on its values, stripping away its laws, the “togetherness” expressed by the Super Bowl was refreshing and convincing…we are “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”