Childish Gambino: Extra Woke in “This is America”

by Shawna Montout
this is America


During his appearance on Saturday Night Live on May 5th, Childish Gambino debuts two tracks “Saturday” and “This is America” which music video was released the same day and have made a lot a noise ever since. 

Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino is killing it with his new song “This is America”. In 24hours the music video already reached 14 million. It is top 3 on Youtube. Everyone is talking about it on social media. It even made it to the news in France on BFMTV. Donald Glover is a multi-talented artist. Actor, comedian, writer, director, producer, singer, songwriter, rapper, and DJ, you name it. Following his single “redbone” and his series ATLANTA which season 2 came out in March, Childish Gambino is surprising us with a poignant music video in which he gives us his truth and certainly the truth of many other people from the black community.

The message(s) behind the video

The Artist clearly give his opinion about the United States and the American Dream is not so beautiful. Childish Gambino speaks for all the families that had lost a loved one, spoke for the whole black community. What is the message that he wants to deliver? Racism in America? Black Lives Matter? Anti-trump? The beauty of the video is that so many messages can be found and decrypted. Here are three details that maybe you didn’t noticed.

  1. Jim Crow referencesBefore Gambino shot the hooded man, he makes a pose with his gun. It was reminiscent of posters and illustrations from Jim Crow in the south of America. Jim Crow was created by and often played by a white man, Thomas Dartmouth Rice. He represents the idea white people had during slavery that black people were only good for singing and dancing.

Jim crow

2. Guns have a better treatment than men

Every time the singer uses a gun to shoot someone, a little boy comes with a red tissu to take the it with care. During this time, the victim’s body is vulgarly dragged or left. Right after the NRA meeting, which took place on may 4th, a day before the music video was released, this is showing how America treats better than black men.

guns in america


3. We film but don’t act

We see students in uniforms and masks witnessing the killings, instead of trying to do something they are peacefully filming. this is a reflection of our society. Nowadays someone can be victim of an attack just in front of other people and no one will act but you can be sure that they will film.

film but dont act



We are expecting a new album later this year, we know that his next one will be the last. 

this is America childish

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