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‘Dear White People’ Creator Justin Simien Analyzes Donald Glover’s ‘This Is America’: Jim Crow, Black Youth, and More

Glover released the video on the same weekend Netflix debuted "Dear White People" Season 2, and creator Justin Simien couldn't be more blown away.

"This Is America"

“This Is America”


Donald Glover/Childish Gambino’s music video for his politically-charged new song “This Is America” became an instant phenomenon when it was released online May 5. In addition to earning universal acclaim and over 20 million views to date, “This Is America” has also made a fan out of Justin Simien. The “Dear White People” creator took a break from promoting the second season of his Netflix comedy series to praise Glover’s work and analyze the references to black culture that many audiences probably missed.

“For the second time this year I’ve been shifted by Donald Glover’s work,” Simien wrote on Twitter. “He forced me to confront the effects of consumerism on the lives of people of color in “Atlanta Robbin’ Season..and now I feel compelled to stare deeply into the dog and pony show of black popular culture through black culture with ‘This Is America.”

Simien goes on to analyze some of the most thought-provoking shots in Glover’s music video, including an important Jim Crow reference, and theorize about how Glover’s thoughts on black youth and America’s false promise of freedom play into the video’s imagery.

Glover’s “This Is America” video is now streaming on YouTube. Simien’s “Dear White People” Season 2 is streaming on Netflix. Read his “This Is America” commentary in the thread below.

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