Black History Month: Donald Glover
Born on September 25, 1983, in California, Donald Glover is an American actor, rapper, singer, comedian, writer, producer, and director. Not only is he an incredible person, but he’s also one of my biggest inspirations.
According to Biography.com, Glover was raised in a predominantly white suburb. His family was one of the only black families in the area. Glover’s parents were always taking in foster children, which created a chaotic environment for Glover and his two sibling to grow up in.
In high school, Glover tapped into his creative side by joining plays and musicals. After that, he attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He majored in dramatic writing and graduated in 2006.
Glover’s first television writing job was in 2006 when he was handpicked by highly regarded writer and actress Tina Fey. She hired Glover to join the writing staff for a show titled 30 Rock.
After working on the show for three seasons, Glover left to experience on camera work for a television show called Community. Glover eventually decided to leave this project to pursue developing and starring in his own show, Atlanta.
Atlanta went on to be nominated for six Emmy’s. Glover was nominated for four and walked away with two — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series. Glover was the first ever African American to receive an Emmy for directing comedy.
But acting isn’t Glover’s only achievement. His creativity reaches music, too. Going by the stage name “Childish Gambino,” Glover has released four albums — Camp (2011), Because The Internet (2013), Awaken My Love! (2016), and 3.15.20 (2020).
In 2018, “Redbone,” a track off of Awaken My Love!, won the Grammy for “Best Traditional R&B Performance.” He also got to give a performance of his song “Terrified.”
Childish Gambino hasn’t been afraid to comment on political issues. In his popular 2018 song “This is America,” he speaks on police brutality, gun violence, etc. The music video even features graphic acts of violence. The song went on to make history as the first hip-hop track to win Song of the Year and Record of the Year at the Grammys.
My personal favorite album of his is Camp. His lyrics are entangled with witty comments and stories about his hard childhood. A theme I noticed was that growing up in a white neighborhood, he was often bullied for being different.
I have been listening to his music since I was in middle school, and I think his songs and views have helped shape the person I am today. He never shies away from a difficult topic, and I admire that greatly. Donald Glover has made history several times, and I know he is not done yet.