Black and white town

Using song lyrics and a video to discuss the role of gender and masculinity in violence.


You will need...

Timing: 15mins

Watch the video of 'Black and White Town' by a band called The Doves. Either share a handout of the lyrics or look at them on a screen or device.

Although the band are from England, the video was filmed in Summerston Glasgow by Lynne Ramsay.



The opening lines of the song are "Here comes the action, here it comes at last. Lord give me a reaction, Lord give me a chance."

What do you think this means?


What comment is the video making about different gender roles and the expectations we grow up with? [Masculine, feminine, LGBTQ+]


The song suggests that a lot of fears prey on your mind in the black and white town.

What can you do to escape these negative thoughts and fears? Is fear different for different genders?


On the other hand, there is also a sense of excitement, that it's the first time the boy in the video has had some action or been involved in a fight - like it is a right of passage for becoming a teenager.

Are there other ways to move into your teens or different ages and stages?


The dark reality is that a violent culture means that people living in a 'black and white town' wherever that is, expect to end up 'ten feet under' and might never grow old.

Would learning to handle our emotions as men and gender roles differently, change the way people live in the black and white town? Do we need better ways to celebrate moving into different ages and stages as we grow up?

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