[ Prime ] Citizen: An American LyricAuthor Claudia Rankine – Entrecielos.co

Claudia Rankine S Bold New Book Recounts Mounting Racial Aggressions In Ongoing Encounters In St Century Daily Life And In The Media The Accumulative Stresses Come To Bear On A Person S Ability To Speak, Perform And Stay Alive Our Addressability Is Tied To The State Of Our Belonging, Rankine Argues, As Are Our Assumptions And Expectations Of Citizenship In Essays, Images And Poetry, Citizen Is A Powerful Testament To The Individual And Collective Effects Of Racism In Our Contemporary, Post Race Society


3 thoughts on “Citizen: An American Lyric

  1. Elizabeth Elizabeth says:

    I am reviewing this book specifically with attention to reading in my class called Citizen and Self which is about how we can live better among each other, increase participation in democratic life, and learn how to collaboratively solve problems I read it with mostly first year college students in Kentucky Almost all of my students are white While some students had a hard time with the ideas and some with the poetry, overall I thought it worked well as long as I reminded them that the book is not directed at them but is rather an account of someone s experience and a way to understand the life and challenges that people face in our country I still had some students who were defensive about the book, or thought that she was being too sensitive but by and large the students found it interesting, helpful at seeing a different perspective and helpful in understanding the experiences of African American people in the United States Most of them said something like, I had no idea that this was so hard or that racism is still so prevalent or that the small things every day can be so difficult and become so big and difficult It was certainly a challenge for them to read but I think overall was helpful Some of the students were even able to engage with the prose poems from a literary perspective, talking about the trajectory of the book poems and the literary devices that she used to draw us in and help the reader see things in a different way Teaching about race is difficult, but for college students most of whom have never had any exposure to complex ideas about race or racism, short of the basic you shouldn t treat people of another race badly this book was a good step in engaging them in the complex and difficult questions of race, justice, fairness, and struggle in the U.S and also helpful in allowing them to get some practice in reading something with a non traditional form.


  2. C. Derick Varn C. Derick Varn says:

    Rankine s experimental work here is unique strong and has struck a cord on race relations and theory as well The prose poems are particularly strong, exploring micro aggressions and other forms of tension in lyric vignettes that can delve into the psychology and social pathology of those seemingly minor events The poetry around Serena Williams and black bodies are particularly innovative and the narrative pulls one through some real earned rage, but one not used the tropes of experimental poetry may be frustrated with some of the other sections That said, Rankine is a master of layering and complicating while exploring seemingly invisible in US society Further, Rankine depth of feeling can pull one through what may seem like otherwise poetically intimidating techniques For understanding the racial divide, for appreciating experimental poetry, for insight into American life, Rankine s Citizen has earned all the awards it has gotten and will get people to go places both artistically and socially that would otherwise make them uncomfortable.


  3. Alexandra Alexandra says:

    Claudia Rankine s Citizen An American Lyric, may be thought of as a book of poetry, especially because it was the recipient of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry However, the pieces collected in this book defy easy classification Citizen is a book of lyricism, image, blank space, identity, and tribute It is a counter narrative to the racism of the dominant white culture in America, as it seeks to give voice to those who have been silenced and grouped into a collective that erases individuality Rankine seeks to reclaim the image of the black body by removing it from view the writing in this book is highly lyrical, but holds back in its imagery Rather, images appear as actual photographs that color the stark white pages of the book By deemphasizing the image of the black body in her language, Rankine speaks against the conception of the black body as something merely to be viewed.But Rankine does than remove things from view she calls forth every person s complicity in the racist culture of which Americans are all a part She does this by writing most of the pieces in this book in the second person The reader is confronted with herself over and over in lines such as The sky is blue, kind of blue The day is hot Is it cold Are you cold It does get cool It is cool Are you cool Rankine seems to be asking the reader, are you cool with this Will you sit by and allow systematic racism to oppress and destroy an entire people She lets no one escape her microscope, ultimately showing us that both the victim and the oppressor are damaged by the effects of racism.Citizen is an essential read for every American, at the very least because it undercuts the idea that there is one single, true American narrative in reality, the lessons we learn in history class are largely a fiction of facts Black people in America have been continuously oppressed through the language of the white narrative in this book, Rankine uses lyricism and photographs to reclaim the oppressive linguistic translations of the black experience she illuminates another side of history.