hit meh: Childish Gambino ‘This is America’

CHILDISH IS FREE

🤯

This is the best video I’ve ever seen right now, art, art, art, art, art, art, art

immediate mind-clucks:

  • SHERRIE MOTHER LOVING SILVER. Sherrie Silver is the choreographer and one of the featured dancers in this video. A Rwandan choreographer, actress, worker with youth, dancer, social media star; been following her work for a while, a lot of us dancers and/or social media/social dance lovers and practitioners have.  Symbolically, this was a head nod to the culture, while interrogating if head nods to the ‘culture’ are enough. And also that there is so so so, always so much behind the dancing, behind the joy. So much deliberate, seething, intentional, strategic, magic. Get into her work beyond and behind entertainment, in her country, she is and has been doing it: IG:  @sherriesilver .

  • Like, why is a song about America using African background dancers and an African choreographer? Isn’t it interesting that this isn’t even a question that comes immediately to mind? It’s cuz, we can. And ‘we’ is America. And that entitlement is America. This video head nods to the wave happening right now, the popularity of seeing smiling, young, black, dancing bodies and popular dances from the African continent and diaspora. And the pop-American culture vulture industry is the one that gets away with the bag. Of money. And Childish is kinda a part of that industry rn? But is interestingly positioning his role in that to also speak on it? 🤯 So Sherrie and the young people she works with meant a lot to me in this video. Yall better get it. Your money.   🗣GET YALL’S MONeYYYY!
  • Seeing the live SNL performance was necessary for me to really see how Sherrie’s roles as choreographer in this video and star-organizer-worker with youth in her everyday life and home country is actually crucial to how and where this whole thang sinks in. here’s a vid of it

  • The use of his current social context to fuck with us even more. Childish Gambino as Donald Glover. As current celebrity demigod. He’s interrogating that role of celebrity demigod by making himself the antagonist in this video. Nothing absolves anyone. Not even Han Solo is absolved of the American sin. There is no hero, and there is no, one, singular villain.
  • When the bag was over the man playing the guitar’s head, anyone else see an interrogation of the faces of terrorism? Am I the only one who saw Guantanamo Bay?
  • I saw a lot of implicit young brown and black pride and solidarity. I saw images of youth uprisings across the globe. I saw ‘looting’. I saw ‘idle kids just taking footage, just tweeting’. These images being critical and very misunderstood parts of every recent global youth-led social movement/revolution.
  • It got very personal for me. It made me feel my complicity inside of my own Americanness. It stirred me in surprising ways. It asked me to make sure I don’t let the conversation on white supremacy too squarely place me in the ‘victim’ chair. I aggress, we aggress.
  • But this isn’t about black on black crime. I saw a global violence that centers, finally, a particular kind of terrible, ghastly American violence. And being black does not absolve one of being complicit with that particular kind of American violence and murderous capitalism. Yet and still, black bodies and spirits and minds are the primary victims of this ghastly violence. Yet and still. And that’s where the stomach churning in on itself begins for me. That all the victims in this video are, still, black.
  • And this video strangely goes far and beyond black and white and the ways we see and talk about race in America, but somehow remains so so so so so so specifically black. Wow. If it reminds us of anything, it’s that blackness can not live inside of dichotomy.
  • Anyone else think of, like, Chance the Rapper and shit during the black choir part?? BEFORE the assault rifle came out, smh. THIS SCENE IS THE TRUE ART OF JUXTAPOSITION. How much have we all been using the word juxtaposition since middle school English class? And now to finally see the power of it in real time. CONTRAST. Within 10 seconds, my brain thought of both chance the rapper AND dylan whatever the fuck his name is. And I don’t know what that does yet for liberation, but the fact that it stretched me and my brain, is all I need right now. Yeh, before the gun came out, I saw all those scenes of black choirs on stages of award shows and fundraisers for world aid and natural disasters. It wasn’t just a reference to Charleston.
  • blackness is a slippery existence. constantly at risk of being pinned down. I loved how hard to pin down this video was. I loved seeing how performance can be coon-hood and also a form liberation. it can be both life and death.
  • And lastly, the symbolism and messaging I get from almost everything rn: reparations.

I don’t know what audience this was made for, and that alone is a miraculous feat to accomplish in this segregated ass, dichotomous ass society. BOGGLE OUR PROGRAMS, CHILDISH! KUDOS AND THANK YOU

 

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