I had to wrap my head around this “quandary” that’s going on online surrounding Donald Glover, better known as, Childish Gambino. If you still don’t know they are in fact…the same person! Donald Glover blew up on 30 Rock and Community but some of you all met him after he released his second album, Because the Internet. We enjoyed his third album Awaken My Love in 2016 and all the while he was championing his Blackness he was dating a white woman. Come hither my friends as we explore how concepts of self-hate, colorism, insecurities, and intra-racism show themselves within Hip Hop Culture. Now, upon first glance at Donald Glover he looks like that token Black guy that skateboards with the white punk kids. I mean that’s what I always figured because I didn’t know Stone Mountain, GA was classified as Atlanta, GA. Having lived in on the west side of Atlanta in 2006 I can tell you with faith that Stone Mountain, which is about thirty minutes away, isn’t the same as Atlanta just ask the KKK; they rebranded themselves atop Stone Mountain in 1915.
Even though Donald Glover grew up with two Black parents that doesn’t mean he had the same “Black experiences” most of us did. For someone who may have been ridiculed, demeaned, shunned, and traumatized by his “Black experience” Donald is expressing his Blackness and reflecting the “Black experiences” of his own and others via film and music. But let’s face it being Black in America a goldmine right now because contrary to popular belief Black people support each other. When Issa Rae said she was rooting for everyone Black; that’s what we do. I don’t care if it’s Family Feud or Price is Right, we’re cheering for the Black person(s). *I have to leave Issa Rae’s comments about Black men alone because she’s not a Rapper.* We love that Donald allowed Giannina Antonette Oteto to be the face of his album but is he putting money into the pockets of the same people who use that money to invest in private prisons?
Rappers are people too and they have identity issues too but we have to decide if the flaws are worth our support. Do we support a pedophile or someone who dates outside their ethnicity or nationality? How pure are their motives? Are they cooning for us? Donald sure was hitting the Gwara Gwara in his new video “This is America.” Donald may be deeply hurt whenever a Black women rejected him despite having unconditional love from his mother, a Black woman. Being a strong Black man requires a high level of self-respect and self-love. I find it hard to believe that Mr. Glover couldn’t find an “awkward Black girl” that shares his interests. AFROPUNK and Comic Con have been coming to the City of Atlanta for over thirteen years. Rappers were people before they became Rappers and they will be people long after they stop. You can support Black Lives Matter and be a Trump supporter right? A lot of Black men in the entertainment industry had a Black woman at their side but soon as they get some limelight they push the Black woman in a ditch for a white woman. We have a lot of healing left to go as a people and we need to have these discussions so we can have an understanding of each other’ point of views. We either have to be all in or all out we can’t ride the fence on who we want to support however putting on a united front in these United States is all we know how to do.
“This is America.” – Childish Gambino (This is America)