The story told here by Ali, is a bit of a metaphor for his own life. The troubles he endured while growing up as a white albino — struggling to find acceptance, from his own family and race. Being accepted by african americans and finally coming to terms with where he fits into the world. It also paints a positive picture of what racial equality and acceptance could look like.
The video is stylized completely in black and white - with the child being the only "gray" person we see, and its narrative is a fairly literal interpretation of the lyrics. This is how Ali wanted it to play out.
As the director / lead illustrator of the piece, Chris Gliebe built off the visual style of his album cover art work, then married that with dark slavery based imagery similar to that of modern artist Kara Walker. From a motion standpoint we were inspired by Jerky movements of Japanese shadow puppets, and tried to take that simple aesthetic to another level, involving complex character movements and 3D camera moves. The end result is something that looks simple, but in reality is fairly complex. The challenge of working in high contrast black in white also made designing and illustrating this a challenge. The final shot of the
video is a personal favorite of Chris's- both visually and from a social commentary point of view.
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