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Donald Glover Highlights the African-American Experience in ‘This is America’

“This is America” sums up the country we’re living in.

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Thirty-four year old musician Donald Glover, also known by his stage name Childish Gambino, was the Internet’s greatest fascination this past weekend. Glover was the host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live, where he performed his new song “This is America”. The subsequently released music video sparked a great deal of conversation due to its graphic depictions of violence against African-Americans throughout the country’s history.

The video begins innocently enough, with a black man playing guitar as Glover dances erratically and makes faces into the camera. Startlingly, the rapper pulls out a gun and shoots the man through the back of his head. From there on, as NPR Music reporter Rodney Carmichael says, the video is a “barrage of symbolism and chaos.” There are images of angry mobs, black schoolchildren with weapons, and a black gospel choir which Glover also shoots.“We’re really kind of grappling with what our entertainers at that level do with the spotlight they have on them; what kind of message are they projecting out into the world,” Carmichael says.

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Roxanneh Mousavi is a Seattle-raised broadcast Journalism and Spanish student living in Orange County. She attends Chapman University and will graduate this spring. Roxanneh has always been passionate about storytelling and is very excited to be a contributor for College Media Network. When she isn’t chasing stories, Roxanneh enjoys singing with her a cappella group, watching horror films, and cuddling animals.

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