This is America

This study guide will help you analyze the music video “This is America” by Childish Gambino. You can also find a summary of the video, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective

Presentation of the film

Title: “This is America” (2018)

Artist: Childish Gambino

Genre: Music video

Donald Glover (b. 1983), also known by his stage name Childish Gambino, is an African American actor, rapper, and writer. He is best known for his role in the sitcom Community and for the series Atlanta, which he created, starred in, and directed. His 2018 song “This is America” debuted at number 1 on the Billboard charts and won four Grammy Awards, including one for Best Music Video.


Here, you can read an extract from our study guide: 


One interpretation of the song could be that modern Americans are too preoccupied with superficial things such as appearances, partying, money, or their social media following, instead of dealing with real social issues such as racism and violence. The title also helps to draw attention to the idea that the current state of America is wrong and must be addressed. 

A second interpretation of “This is America” could be that the entertainment industry and social media often serve as a distraction from the real issues that take place in the world. This is best exemplified by the music video that focuses on Gambino and the students’ dancing rather than on the violence and chaos going on in the background. Gambino also...

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This is America

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