Mickey Guyton has released “Black Like Me,” a delicate ballad that recounts her experience as a black woman in America.
Guyton draws on her own childhood memories to sing about the hardship of being black in a racist world. After realizing how her “daddy worked day and night for an old house and a used car,” she sings: “Just to live that good life, it shouldn’t be twice as hard.”
“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,” the Texas native proclaims on the resounding chorus, over piano, handclaps, pedal steel and slow drum beats. “Black Like Me” ends on a hopeful note: “Someday, we’ll all be free / and I’m proud to be black like me.”
“I wrote this song over a year ago because I was so tired of seeing so much hate and oppression,” Guyton revealed on Instagram. “And yet here we are in the exact same place! We must change that. I hope this song can give you a small glimpse into what my brothers and sisters have endured for 400+ years.”
Guyton also responded to “Black Like Me”’s addition to the top of Hot Country, Spotify’s most popular country music playlist. “This song was a God moment. He put it on my heart to write it. I thought it was to heal my heart but now I realize it’s meant to heal every heart,” she wrote on Twitter.
“Black Like Me” dropped on #BlackOutTuesday (June 2), a global movement within the music industry to stand in solidarity with black Americans. This follows the international outrage after the death of George Floyd. A viral video had captured a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck despite the latter telling the officer he couldn’t breathe.
Guyton has long been vocal in her support for racial and gender equality. Earlier in March, she released “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?”, an aching plea for gender equality in society.
Listen to “Black Like Me” below: