Donald Glover, known to many as Childish Gambino currently has a song trending called, “This is America.” The music video visually brought this song to life. He made it clear what his views are on todays society. It makes it a piece of art because it invokes controversy. He has plenty of supporters behind the making of this video but, the graphic images and symbolism make others uncomfortable.
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This video is mostly influenced by the violence against black Americans. There are two moments in the video that he subtly expressed his view on gun control with the way the gun is handled after he shoots. Contributor, Bryan Rolli wrote in Forbes that, “He’s funneled all these outside influences into one cohesive, exhilarating, altogether unforgettable audiovisual experience.”
After Gambino shoots his targets, the gun is collected with a red cloth with extreme care. It could be interpreted as the control or lack of control conversation is more important than the lives lost. The video continues on as if those incidents didn’t happen.
Gambino and his dancers dance through the video as if it is what’s keeping them alive. It could be compared to what makes society notice Black America. Some are only noticed because they are talented in the arts. Being involved in music, dance, or sports can maybe save you from the issues most African Americans deal with on a daily basis.
The color palate mostly consist of gray, white, and red. You can see a small amount of blue lighting in the foreground. The color mock the lack of freedom within black culture. The red is mostly seen coming from the blood of the victims. The gray color fabric they wear is so mundane.
The location of the video was in a warehouse. The structure of the warehouse gave the feeling of imprisonment. There’s so much space but it still feels like if they’re locked up in jail. Makes you wonder, if black people aren’t entertainers, they run the risk of being gunned down or placed in confinement.
Childish Gambino has become a cultural phenomenon. His character represented the truth of Black America. A lot of people find themselves distracted by money and fame and ignore the brutality against the culture. As Plato mentioned in his four ideas about us needing to think more, it would be considered true in reference to this video. We as people need to rethink the people we place as political leaders and the decision we make as a group and how it affects us. This video is art and beauty. It’s the both because Childish Gambino visually showed us what’s going on in society by shocking us which produced a beautiful representation of what black culture goes through.
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