The Hidden Meanings Behind Childish Gambino's "This Is America" Video

Submitted by: littlemissqt 5 months ago in Entertainment


You didn't think Donald Glover just threw his video together without a few hidden messages to the establishment, did you?
There are 20 comments:
Male 5,523
"Surrounded by old stagnant American Cars"

BULLSHIT.  I see Toyota, Nissan, BMW...they sure aren't American...

On the plus side, this video got me to search out the actual video.  I must say it's a pretty impressive performance piece.
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Male 1,323
kalron Yep, the Toyota is one of the few things i picked up on my first viewing... 
Puts the entire commentary in question, if they can't get basic information right, doesn't it?
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Male 1,562
kalron American Cars don't last long enough! hahaha just messin' but good observation 
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Male 1,562
Sooo why the down votes? Truth hurts?
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Female 6,443
doiknowyou "Seemed to be..."  "this could be a possible..."  "some have interpreted..."  "Many online have inferred..." "This could have a double meaning..."  "could mean..."  "Twitter pointed out..."  = Truth?
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Male 1,562
melcervini Truth meaning the way blacks are clearly a second class. Everyone is free to interpret in their own way which, as you said, doesn't make it truth
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Male 2,188
melcervini Danny Glover has specifically not explained any of the symbolism in this video, ostensibly because he wants people to come to their own conclusions. A lot of theories out there. This video is better than most of the rambles out there, but I'd like to wait a few weeks to sift the wheat from the chaff before coming to my own conclusions. 
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Male 910
Can anyone find a completely alternative "explanation" (over-analysis) of the video. Heck I will give it a try...THE FOLLOWING IS SATIRE OF BAD EXEGESIS:

For the first 20 or so seconds there is unintelligible noise instead of words. This could represent how Americans view foreigners and urban slang. Then, a man sits down to play a guitar which implies that musicians are lazy and cannot hold their own in society. Gambino is facing away and standing implying that he is the only hard working artist in the business. 

He dances awkwardly to draw attention to Parkinson's awareness. When he executes the sitting man, he reinforces how he believes that he is the ultimate musical artist. He hands the gun off in a red cloth supporting AIDS awareness as well. 

He dances shirtless with children in uniforms in direct contradiction to Oprah's South Africa school. He is mocking celebrities' interest in Africa. People in the background run around looting. This was likely not part of the shoot and probably just happened organically. 

He dances with, and executes a choir. He reasserts his dominance as the best gospel artist and displays his distaste for religious costumes all at once. 

The camera pans to show people recording him. This likely was a paid product placement for Facebook live. A white horse runs through the background. Drugs are bad m'kay? 

Gambino holds a pose as everyone runs away. This is to record the devastating effects that uncontrolled gas can have on a person. As he farts and clears the room, 
lonliness is seen on his face. He then takes out a cigarette to cover the smell and calm his nerves. IBS is real for the Gambino. 

The dead guitarist lives! Gambino believes that he can ressurect the dead. He dances on old cars as a gesture to the auto industry that implores them to include a more fanciful advertising strategy in their campaigns. 

The video ends as he runs from the crowd and toward the camera revealing his own self-inflate ego and fame chasing that is ahead of all the other faceless crowd.

Obviouisly, this isn't good analysis, but it was done in 10 minutes and is just as valid.
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Female 6,443
bliznik oh and ;)


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Male 2,188
melcervini Ugh, I do that all the time between Donald Glover and Danny Glover. I don't know why...>_<
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Male 18,152
bliznik Donald Glover is that guy who guards the bifrost in Ass-guard
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Female 6,443
bliznik I do it too LOL I've heard "Danny Glover" for a very long time.
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Female 6,443
bliznik see below :)
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Male 849
melcervini Interpretation of art is highly subjective and deeply personal.  Some folks look at the Mona Lisa and think it's just a portrait of some woman.  Others look at it and find deeper meaning in everything - her smile, her eyes, the background, etc.  Same is true of poetry.  Some folks read Robert Frost and get nothing from it, others read his work and find it profound.

This is why the narrator used phrases like "seemed to be...", and "this could mean..."  She understands that the symbols used in the video could mean different things to different people.  She is courteous enough to temper her language to allow room for other interpretations.  After all, her truth is not necessarily everyone's truth.
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Male 1,673
skeeter01 When Robert Frost came to my high school and read from his work, I found that his apparent interpretation of it jarred with what I had always seen in it. I haven't really enjoyed his poetry since then.
Best to wait until they're dead.
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Female 6,443
skeeter01 That was in response to doiknowyou, who claimed 'truth' to the (I agree) VERY well presented suppositions she spoke about in the video (and pointed out a few things I'd missed the first time I'd seen this a few posts back.)  I dont agree with some of the points made, but that's irrelevant.  Doesn't make the presentation less admirable, and it is, but it doesn't make it truth either.
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Male 226
doiknowyou I down voted because I do not want to be labeled as "having a tendency to applaud black culture while turning my back on the issues they face"
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Male 1,562
WakeToWood legit reason
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Female 1,697
doiknowyou Looks like it. 
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Male 2,188
littlemissqt lol...and you got a downvote for it. People who deny that racism is ubiquitous hate mirrors.
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