Childish Gambino – This Is America

TW: this music video depicts gun violence

Today, we’re listening to/watching Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” (video below). As you watch, take notes about what you see, review the lyrics, and think about the story Glover is trying to tell us with this song.  Answer the one following questions. Try and write around 200 words. As always, try to provide specific examples from the text (video or lyrics). It it helps take a screen shot from the video or refer to a specific time stamp.

  1. How are guns treated in the video? Why do you think that is? What is our relationship with guns in the US?
  2. Why is there such a difference between what’s happening with Childish Gambino and the dancers in the foreground, and everything that’s happening in the background? What is the artist trying to say/show?
  3. CNN analyst Bakari Sellers, in a reaction to the video, said “Being black in America is constantly living in a state of PTSD.” What do you think that means? How does this video showcase that experience? 
  4. Is this song America? Why or why not?

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