Episode 23: This is America
Donald Glover’s chart-topping song takes home Grammys for song and record of the year
The Grammys have been criticized for lacking diversity and not giving hip-hop artists their due. This year, Donald Glover, also known as Childish Gambino, took home both song and record of the year awards. This is America, Glover’s chart-topping song well known for its viral music video, has something to say about the state of the U.S. from gun violence to race. We sat down with Chris Lebron, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins, to talk about the significance of Glover’s Grammy win as well as his no-show at the Awards. The conversation turns to the broader music scene, Janelle Monáe, Afrofuturism, and Kanye West.
On this episode
This is America Music Video
Boston Review: What Happened to Kanye West?
Boston Review: Janelle Monáe for President
Kanye West Interview with Radio Host Charlamagne
Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe
This Week’s Guest: Chris Lebron
Chris Lebron is Associate Professor of Philosophy. He specializes in political philosophy, social theory, the philosophy of race, and democratic ethics. His work has focused on bridging the divide between analytic liberalism and the virtue ethics tradition. His first book, The Color of Our Shame: Race and Justice In Our Time (OUP 2013) won the American Political Science Association Foundations of Political Theory First Book Prize. His second book The Making of Black Lives Matter: A Brief History of An Idea (OUP 2017) offers a brief intellectual history of the black lives matter social movement. Chris is at work on his third book, From A Human Point of View: Re-Imagining Racial Egalitarianism, which is a direct follow-up to The Color Of Our Shame, and explores the uses of imagination for attending to morally problematic racial attitudes that bolster racial inequality. Chris has written a number of articles and book reviews. He has also been an active public intellectual, writing numerous times for The New York Times’s philosophy column, The Stone and for Boston Review, in addition to other outlets.