The Black Aesthetic: Musical Revolution in Childish Gambino’s Awaken, My Love!

Lay back as you listen to Awaken, My Love! by Childish Gambino, and thoughts of social turmoil will disturb your rest. Amid his poetic verses are allusions to metaphorical monsters that call to mind police violence, marches, and riots. If you consider poetic tropes and archetypes from African American culture as you think about the intentions behind the album’s verses, you’ll see that the traditions of black liberation and the lyrical protesting of the dehumanization of blackness resonates. “Boogieman” and “Riot” in particular paint images of black people who, in the eyes of those who wish to dismiss their humanity, are metaphorical monsters...Continue reading

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