Last week Donald Glover A.K.A Childish Gambino, released his song and video for “This is America”. The imagery used throughout was powerful, and to anybody that has somehow been living under a rock the past week, and hasn’t watched it yet, I recommend you click the link here to watch it or else the rest of this article may not make much sense…. I spoke to a couple of Americans to hear their opinion on this work, and asked them to explain some of the imagery in the video, for us here at G-YOU. Now we hear from Antony Larry, a Florida State College alumnus, who now works as a children and youth minister in Orlando.
-Owain Campton, Editor-in-Chief
Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are from!
I am from Jacksonville, Florida. I studied general studies and music Education at Florida State college at Jacksonville. I was a professional Actor and singer for 10 years and currently I am a Children and Youth minister.
Why has the “This is America” video become such a phenomenon?
The video has become a phenomenon because it portrays the life that a majority of black men have to live with every day. It portrays how hard it is to be black in America. It shows how you can be complete innocent but be looked as suspicious and a threat just because of your skin colour and gender. It also shows how guns have become a threat to American society and how one-sided gun ownership is. If you are white, owning a gun is fine. Otherwise, you’re a threat.
Why do you think this video is important?
This video is important because it shows many black men that their fears are real and they aren’t alone in those fears. It also makes a bold statement that leaves many white Americans with many questions. I believe that it will open up dialogue between black American’s who live with this fear and white Americans who want to know more about this topic and seek to understand. I also think it empowers black American’s to stand up and fight for their equality.
What imagery is there in the video that is important?
I think the dancing done by the artist and others in the video shows the dance that black people have to do through life. We have to be very careful in every move we make. I think the dancing also shows that we are just trying to have a good time. I especially felt something deep in my soul when the dancing choir was shot. I felt it represented the gun violence that happen in Mother Emmanuel church and also how our traditions are being targeted.
What do you think UK students should think about will watching or listening to the song?
I think that UK students should watch this and understand that this is what it’s like to be black in America and also become advocates for of injustice not just in America but all around the world.
Anything else you would like to add?
This is somewhat unrelated but I do compare what black Americans are going through to what Palestinians are going through.
-Questions: Owain Campton, Editor-in-Chief
-Words: Antony Larry, Orlando, Fl.