Childish Gambino’s “This is America”

Rapper Childish Gambino’s (Donald Glover) music video, “This is America,” has gained a lot of attention in the past week – both negative and positive. What makes this video so controversial?

Before viewing the video, follow the song’s lyrics below as we listen to Childish Gambino:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, go, go away
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, go, go away
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, go, go away
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, go, go away
We just wanna party
Party just for you
We just want the money
Money just for you
I know you wanna party
Party just for me
Girl, you got me dancin’ (yeah, girl, you got me dancin’)
Dance and shake the frame
We just wanna party (yeah)
Party just for you (yeah)
We just want the money (yeah)
Money just for you (you)
I know you wanna party (yeah)
Party just for me (yeah)
Girl, you got me dancin’ (yeah, girl, you got me dancin’)
Dance and shake the frame (you)
This is America
Don’t catch you slippin’ up
Don’t catch you slippin’ up
Look what I’m whippin’ up
This is America (woo)
Don’t catch you slippin’ up
Don’t catch you slippin’ up
Look what I’m whippin’ up
This is America (skrrt, skrrt, woo)
Don’t catch you slippin’ up (ayy)
Look at how I’m livin’ now
Police be trippin’ now (woo)
Yeah, this is America (woo, ayy)
Guns in my area (word, my area)
I got the strap (ayy, ayy)
I gotta carry ’em
Yeah, yeah, I’ma go into this (ugh)
Yeah, yeah, this is guerilla (woo)
Yeah, yeah, I’ma go get the bag
Yeah, yeah, or I’ma get the pad
Yeah, yeah, I’m so cold like yeah (yeah)
I’m so dope like yeah (woo)
We gon’ blow like yeah (straight up, uh)
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, tell somebody
You go tell somebody
Grandma told me
Get your money, Black man (get your money)
Get your money, Black man (get your money)
Get your money, Black man (get your, Black man)
Get your money, Black man (get your, Black man)
Black man
This is America (woo, ayy)
Don’t catch you slippin’ up (woo, woo, don’t catch you slippin’, now)
Don’t catch you slippin’ up (ayy, woah)
Look what I’m whippin’ up (Slime!)
This is America (yeah, yeah)
Don’t catch you slippin’ up (woah, ayy)
Don’t catch you slippin’ up (ayy, woo)
Look what I’m whippin’ up (ayy)
Look how I’m geekin’ out (hey)
I’m so fitted (I’m so fitted, woo)
I’m on Gucci (I’m on Gucci)
I’m so pretty (yeah, yeah)
I’m gon’ get it (ayy, I’m gon’ get it)
Watch me move (blaow)
This a celly (ha)
That’s a tool (yeah)
On my Kodak (woo, Black)
Ooh, know that (yeah, know that, hold on)
Get it (get it, get it)
Ooh, work it (21)
Hunnid bands, hunnid bands, hunnid bands (hunnid bands)
Contraband, contraband, contraband (contraband)
I got the plug on Oaxaca (woah)
They gonna find you that blocka (blaow)
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, tell somebody
America, I just checked my following list and
You go tell somebody
You mothafuckas owe me
Grandma told me
Get your money, Black man (Black man)
Get your money, Black man (Black man)
Get your money, Black man (Black man)
Get your money, Black man Black man)
Black man (one, two, three, get down)
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, tell somebody
You go tell somebody
Grandma told me, “Get your money, ” Black man
Get your money, Black man (Black man)
Get your money, Black man (Black man)
Get your money, Black man (Black man)
Black man
You just a Black man in this world
You just a barcode, ayy
You just a Black man in this world
Drivin’ expensive foreigns, ayy
You just a big dawg, yeah
I kenneled him in the backyard
No proper life to a dog
For a big dog
Songwriters: Donald Glover / Ludwig Goransson
This Is America lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

In your first viewing of the video, take mental notes of symbolism and imagery you see. Pay close attention.

Childish Gambino, “This is America”

After watching, reflect: What theme is present throughout Childish Gambino’s music video and how does he develop this theme?

AnalyzeThe images below are that of Jim Crow, a fictional theatre character created by Thomas D. Rice, a white actor, in the early-to-mid 1800s. Rice dressed in blackface and the character “helped to popularize the belief that blacks were lazy, stupid, inherently less human, and unworthy of integration” (Pilgrim). What do you notice about the character’s appearance? Do you see any of this imagery present in “This is America”?


These shows were called “minstrel shows.”



Civil Disobedience in History


The Greensboro Four: David Richmond, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair, Jr., and Joseph McNeil


Your group was given a quote from someone in history who committed civil disobedience. With your group, do some research on the person and his/her actions, then answer the following questions in complete sentences. You will present your findings to the class in the form of a poster.

Please include a picture of the person and/or his/her actions (#3; this may be printed) and answers to the following questions on your poster:

  1. What is civil disobedience? Create your own definition with your group.
  2. What does the quote you were given mean? Restate the quote in your own words and explain.
  3. When and where did the person’s act(s) of civil disobedience take place? Include background information, as well as a picture of the person and/or his/her act(s) of civil disobedience.
  4. What specific societal issue(s) inspired him/her to commit civil disobedience? Be sure to include dates and locations.
  5. How much recognition (or notoriety) did the person receive as a result?
  6. When viewed in hindsight, how successful were the actions? Was there a change in policy as a result? Did the acts bring the issues into focus for the public? Explain.

You will present your findings to the class!


Personal Reflection:

Please answer the following questions after viewing all class presentations. This is an individual assignment.

1. What sacrifices would one need to make to commit an act of passive resistance? What could some of the negative consequences of the action be? In what ways does a person who commits civil disobedience alienate him/herself from society?

2. In your view, how effective is civil disobedience in causing positive change in the world? Explain in a minimum of three sentences.

Thoreau: Big Government vs. Small Government

flat800x800070f-u1In order to truly understand Henry David Thoreau’s criticisms of the government, we must first understand the role of government, as well as what constitutes a “big government” and a “small government.”

All information from

Big Government
A ‘big government’ is a government which is excessively large and involved in numerous sectors of the society. Such government has the tendency of taking all the powers in its own hands, even if it means going against the constitution of the nation. The term ‘big government’ is most often used by conservationists, libertarians, and laissez faire advocates to criticize the government for its inefficiency. Such government quite often gets involved in matters pertaining to public policy or the private sector, and the critics argue that this interference on the part of the government costs the nation as a whole. Federal mandates, wherein the policies and programs are imposed on states without giving them any financial assistance, is one of the best examples of this concept.

Small Government
As opposed to the big government, a ‘small government’ is a government which restricts its role to the important activities of the state, and leaves other activities to companies, charities, and the individuals in the society. In most of these cases, the role of government is restricted to activities such as law, defense, and foreign affairs, while other sectors are run by the people of the society in a manner resembling the private sector. Hong Kong and Denmark are two nations which have a history of small government, while larger nations like the United States and United Kingdom have been witness to campaigns for the same in the past.

Big Government vs. Small Government: And the Winner is …
Those in support of the concept of small government argue that it is a better bet as it concentrates on a few, but important attributes of the society. The very fact that it doesn’t monitor a wide range of sectors means it can concentrate on the important sectors and govern them with utmost efficiency. A big government, for instance, has the burden of protecting the basic rights of people as well as corporates, as a result of which it becomes difficult for any such government to bring about accountability in the society. A small government, on the other hand, can concentrate on law and individual’s rights, and bring about accountability in the society. That being said, any grievances from the corporate world are handled by concerned organization without any government interference in the same.

Transcendentalist Thoughts



  1. Pick a quote from a Transcendentalist writer below. Find one that you like and can make a personal connection to.
  2. On the front of your computer paper, draw a visual representation of your quote. Get creative with this – use symbolism, color, etc. to reflect the tone of the author’s quote. The Transcendentalists were very abstract, so be sure to reflect this in your art. As this is a visual representation, it should NOT include any words.
  3. On the back of your paper, answer the following questions in 3-4 complete sentences each:
    1. Which quote did you choose? What does this quote mean to you? Summarize it in your own words.
    2. How does this quote connect to Transcendentalism? How does it demonstrate the tenets of Transcendentalism? Be specific and provide text evidence.
    3. Why did you choose this quote? What connection does it have to your life?


Robert Frost:

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.”

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

“Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.”

“The best way out is always through.”

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

“Freedom lies in being bold.”

“You can be a rank insider as well as a rank outsider.”

“I hold it to be the inalienable right of anybody to go to hell in his own way.”


Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.”

“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.”

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”

“To be great is to be misunderstood.”

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.”


Walt Whitman:

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”

“I celebrate myself, and sing myself.”

“Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.”

“Oh while I live, to be the ruler of life, not a slave, to meet life as a powerful conqueror, and nothing exterior to me will ever take command of me.”

“I exist as I am; that is enough.”

“Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.”

“Nothing endures but personal qualities.”


Henry David Thoreau:

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.”

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you have imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.”

“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.”

“Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.”

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

“Not only must we be good, but we must also be good for something.”



In preparation for our EOC exam on April 30, May 1, and May 2, we will be utilizing USA Test Prep for review. This includes collaborative review games, individual competition, and practice EOC exams.

If you haven’t done so already, please follow the steps below to create an account on USA Test Prep.

Go to:

Account ID: pebblebrook

Student Activation Code: stu1223

**These are case-sensitive!**

Follow the instructions to create your account, then add Mr. Mark Sager (NOT ME!) as a teacher. Be sure to click “join class” (EOC Boot Camp) and select “add assignments” when prompted.

Complete the assignment, “Practice EOC.” Take it as many times as you need to in order to score at least a 70%.



Once you are done with the practice EOC exam on USA Test Prep, move on to Typing Club! This is a free resource that will help your typing skills, which is essential for the EOC, school, and your future! Please follow the steps below to create a login:

  1. Go to and create a login.
  2. Once you create a login, go ahead and log in and join your class here:
  3. Get typing! 🙂


Do Now: Transcendental Thoughts

Do Now: Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Transcendental Thoughts


On your own sheet of paper, briefly answer the following questions in 1-2 complete sentences. There is no right or wrong answer to these; you have a voice and it is valid! 🙂

  1. How are you affected by nature? Do you find comfort in it? Do you reflect the moods of nature?
  2. What is the role of nature in your life?
  3. What is meant by an individual’s spiritual side? How do you define it?
  4. Is there a connection between the individual’s spirit and nature? If so, what is that connection?
  5. Do you make decisions intuitively (going with your gut) or in a more rational manner? Explain.
  6. How do you demonstrate that you are an individual? Do you think independently of others or do you follow the crowd? Explain.

Romanticism and Transcendentalism


With the completion of your persuasive speeches, we are officially done with Rationalism. It’s time to move on to my (second) favorite literary movement(s), Romanticism and Transcendentalism. Since these two movements overlap in American history, we will study both in tandem.

Please review the Prezi here and take notes!