At midnight on #BlackOutTuesday (June 2), Mickey Guyton released the studio version of “Black Like Me,” a tender yet heartbreaking ballad that narrates her life as a black woman in America.
On the ground-breaking anthem, Guyton confesses about the hardships of being of an African-American in a country that treats blacks as less than equal. She opens the song with personal memories from her childhood, “Little kid in a small town / I did my best just to fit in / Broke my heart on the playground / When they said I was different,” she sings on the first verse, before painfully realizing: “Now I’m all grown up and nothin’ has changed / Yeah, it’s still the same.”
Prior to its release yesterday, the country singer had shared clips of the song on social media, with each post receiving countless praises and requests (from artists, industry members, friends and fans) for the full version.
“I wrote this song over a year ago because I was so tired of seeing so much hate and oppression,” Guyton shared with fans on Instagram. “And yet here we are in the exact same place! We must change that,” she urgently added. “I hope this song can give you a small glimpse into what my brothers and sisters have endured for 400+ years.”
Her post concluded with the plaintive, saddening chorus of “Black Like Me”: “It’s a hard life on easy street. Just white painted picket fences far as you can see. If you think we live in the land of the free, you should try to be black like me.”
#BlackOutTuesday was a collective movement by the music industry to stand in solidarity with black Americans to end racial prejudice against them. It was initiated by Brianna Agyemang and Jamila Thomasby, two black music business executives.
Listen to Mickey Guyton’s timely new song, “Black Like Me,” now.