This song has more meaning in it than the songs we’re used to hearing on an everyday basis. Growing up in Honduras, racial segregation was never an issue. I first became aware of it in history class. Some people believe that racial segregation doesn’t exist, or believe that it’s just an excuse (yes, I’ve heard people say this). However, I believe that our human nature tells us that something isn’t real unless we have experienced it. Kiwanuka’s song has a deeper meaning, and this is a message he was trying to express.
I would like to point out how in the songs it seems as if he has given up. There is nothing left to pray or hope for. He is simply admitting that racial segregation is in fact an issue. However, he is used to it. There is nothing he can do about it, and he has to live through it every single day. I believe that in order to portray this sense of repetition of his everyday life with this issue the chorus is the same sentence all over again “I’m a black man in a white world”. Because this line is repeated throughout the whole song, this gives us a sense of continuity and repetition.
This issue reminds me of the phrase “Ignorance is bliss.” For example, if a close-minded person has never battled through depression, they might question the existence of it. The same way, people who don’t struggle with racial segregation on a daily basis will have nothing to worry about. I believe that the artist is trying to convey how he is used to having to deal with this issue every day.