Mickey Guyton’s ‘Black Like Me’ Asks Listeners to Check Their Privilege [Listen]
Mickey Guyton's "Black Like Me" is a call for listeners to check their privilege. "If you think we live in the land of the free / You should try to be black like me," the singer repeats in each chorus.
Guyton's new song, officially released on Tuesday (June 2), recalls being a "little kid in a small town [who] did my best just to fit in" — but, she remembers, it "broke my heart on the playground / When they said I was different." In the second verse, she sings, "Daddy worked day and night for an old house and a used car / Just to live that good life / It shouldn't be twice as hard."
"Oh, now, now I'm all grown up, and nothing has changed," Guyton sings in a repeating bridge. "It's a hard life on easy street," she adds in the chorus.
Late in the song, Guyton admits that she knows she's not alone — and, she has hope. "Some day we'll all be free / And I'm proud to be black like me," she sings.
The release of "Black Like Me" coincides with a call for a music industry-wide, day-long blackout meant to raise awareness of, and spur action around, racism and inequality. The #TheShowMustBePaused initiative is in response to the May 25 death of 46-year-old Black man in Minneapolis named George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer named Derek Chauvin, which has prompted protests across the United States and wider calls for justice and an end to racial inequality.
On social media, Guyton has been sharing her own thoughts and amplifying those of the people around her, on Monday (June 1) encouraging people to truly stop and consider how they can use their platforms for good:
"I hope everyone reading this realizes the power that their voice holds," Guyton tweeted on Saturday (May 30). "Don’t ever let anyone hold your heart and your voice captive ever again. Speak your truth in love. We are all her for it."
On Sunday (May 31), in response to days of clashes between protestors and law enforcement, Guyton called for a stop to the looting that has sometimes accompanied protests that turned violent. "Don’t take advantage of a time when people are suffering and hurting," she says.
"There are people out here really trying to spark change. And the looting is absolutely disrespecting George Floyd’s death," Guyton adds. "Let’s honor him today. Spread truth in love."
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