Unless you’ve been under a rock. You’ve probably seen the groundbreaking video by Childish Gambino (Donald Glover). The video has drawn an incredible amount of attention since launching. The video starts with the initial light melody (America’s projection of pureness to the world) to aggressive chaos (the African American chaos experience). If you have not seen the video yet I’ll try not to spoil it here. There’s countless images, clues throughout the video from blackface to colonial clothing. You have to watch it multiple times to get the full breadth of the video.
The first stage is shocking, black death, and the immediate cleanup. The unemotional continuation of things immediately afterward. 30 seconds later you actually completely forget about this loss of life.
The second stage bringing in happy black faces to dance all the popular dances kids love today and project happiness. Meanwhile the carnage continuous behind and around them. In my opinion, this is Gambino’s poke at celebrity and entertainment. The NFL is upset at players being upset at the carnage around them. At this point Gambino says in a line, “this is a celly”, using a double meaning (1) at this point you realize the scene looks like a jail scene (America) and (2) the camera points up and you see kids recording on their smartphones, while all the chaos is going on children are capturing and accepting it is reality/entertainment. At this point, you ask yourself…..Gambino has these kids acting in all of this death, but This is America, many don’t get a chance to choose if they have to partake in the carnage.
The third stage is the religious group, indoors singing and giving questionable advice (to clarify they’re saying “get your money black ma” repeatedly). Then a shocking turn of events and the carnage sweeps them into the greater chain of events.
The final stage, then the main star stopped to reflect, he then attempts to escape from this hellish reality from those that are not your compatriots. Brilliant story telling.