Mickey Guyton is making a statement with her personal new song, “Black Like Me.” While topics of racism and equality dominate the headlines, these topical lyrics speak for themselves: “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.”
For years, Guyton has been discussing diversity in country music from her perspective as an African American woman. Now, interviews aren’t the only platform she’s using to speak up. To quote her Instagram bio, “They say, ’shut up and sing.’ So I put what I have to say in my songs.”
“Black Like Me” is one such example. The title comes from a book she read in college by John Howard Griffin, a white man who darkened his skin to experience what life would be like for a black man in the South in the 1960s. Although the phrase had lingered in her mind, it took a writing retreat with Nathan Chapman, Fraser Churchill and black British songwriter Emma DD to bring the full song to fruition.
On Instagram, Guyton writes in part: “Our world is on fire right now. There is so much division and hate. I wrote this song over a year ago because I was so tired of seeing so much hate and oppression. 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.”