A genius with a purpose has unveiled himself. A man, who understands that no matter how he may climb the social ladder of stardom, he is first and foremost a human being and not just any human being, a black man being in America. A black man navigating a racially and politically charged season juxtaposed against a “Golden Era” for black Americans and other minorities across the board. Understanding the aforementioned notions, this particular human being over-stands the importance of the Art of being and mindfulness; and in doing so, remains tuned in, tapped into and in touch with the plagues and complexities of our beautiful nation called, America. An integrity-filled individual, who instead of pimping the masses while flaunting his blessings pompously, decides to create Art that reflects no separation between what regular black folk understands to be true and what rich, privileged; at best, and entitled folk; at worse, understand to be true – whether black, white or of Asian or Spanish persuasion.
Why might this man be unveiled during such a time as this? Well, I imagine one of the reasons is because that he understands that when it rains, it does not rain on just one man’s house, so whether you identify with a particular race; rich or not so rich, highly intelligent or merely blessed with good old fashion common sense, the truth prevails and eventually the war happening in the inner city communities, will soon explode and spread in high-rent district communities too. I also would venture to imagine that another reason may be because we have a way of compartmentalizing our human experiences and therefore reflect a type of ignorance of how we contribute to the systems of oppression that we complain about.
I believe, if even just for a fraction of a second, that Donald Glover, otherwise known as his Creative alter-ego, Childish Gambino, has transcended the masses’ disconnected perception regarding the gun violence in America and how it is impacting not just black lives in America, but all who journey on American soil. This young visionary has also exposed the aloof nature of some celebrities (regardless of their particular race) that are more concerned with racking up on fame and fortune and perhaps other hedonistic pursuits than focused on how to use their God-given talents to calm some of our turbulent storms. Instead of adding an authentic or insightful perspective that inspires all people towards a higher way of understanding, existing and interacting with one another on the planet, some settle for distributing flammable content that merely contributes to the confusion and Social flames 🔥 America seems to be understandably obsessed with these days. No judgement, just facts.
Drenched in wit and consumed with parody, “This Is America” music video, was unveiled on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE a few of weeks ago. Provocative, brutally honest and righteously compelling, Gambino’s artistic masterpiece is not just a blatant “calling out” as we say of the new and modern day coon; yet it is also, a call to ACTION to wake up, “stay woke” and pay attention and accept accountability for how we ALL participate in the macro-social ecosystem that we ALL are a part of.
“This is America”, tackles police brutality, gun violence, media misdirection, and the use of African Americans as a brand shield, all while dancing in Jim Crow-style caricature, show[ing] a transcendence or mere performance [that] demands attention,” Jon Spence (@reallyjonspence) tweeted.” And, oh boy, did this piece of Art receive the attention it sure enough earned and deserved.
The amount of metaphorical layers ALIVE in the imagery is some-what mind-blowing at first. I do recommend that you study (not just watch) the video at least 22 times to really experience ALL layers of the work. And may I lend you some advice in order to accelerate your ability to digest and mull over the multiple crux’s present; for, it’s easy to be distracted by all the fresh and latest dance moves and theatrics going on 😉, so I recommend you dare to l👀k beyond the surface level of the presentation, which represents a microcosm of our American culture. This recommendation in and of itself, is one of the major points Gambino courageously encourages.
Glover, who has been rising the ranks these days with both his series ATLANTA and his role as young Lando Calrissian in the forthcoming “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” may be soaring high like an eagle 🦅 professionally, yet he still creates from solid and common ground perspective culturally, piercing through and shifting the expectations that we have when celebrating Artists all the way to celebrity status. Perhaps we should raise the bar when it comes to human beings we celebrate. If you are creating Art that is superficial, propelling only capitalistic and surface-level messages, you are merely contributing energetically to that which is superficial and you attract more of the nature you speak about via your Art in your actual life. If you talk about violence and loss, don’t be surprised if it pops up even when you have moved up like the Jeffersons. So just remember what you reverberate, you are signaling to the Universe that you want more of it.
Directed by “Atlanta” director Hiro Murai, I present to you, “This is America”. And Donald Glover (a.k.a. Childish Gambino”, I 👀 YOU. 🙏Thank You🙏 for not dimming your light or dumbing your authenticity down. You have just been heART of cool STAMPED!
💜Love & Light☀,
CRISTEN M. MILLS