An American Lyric

eBook - 2014
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A provocative meditation on race, Claudia Rankine's long-awaited follow up to her groundbreaking book Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV'everywhere, all the time. 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 essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named "post-race" society.
Publisher: Minneapolis, Minnesota : Graywolf Press, 2014
ISBN: 9781555973483
Branch Call Number: E-BOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource : illustrations

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JCLAyahA Mar 12, 2018

This book is so adept at conveying the racial psyche that it's objectively an excellent book on the human psyche as a whole. Behind the fragments, incidents and artwork, there's a synthesis present that lets you into the experience of an individual, but it also feels universal and worldly. It's nice to find all three perspectives present in a discussion about racism. On a personal level, I found that this book also bring a voice to the experience of sexism. It's a difficult book to describe; you have to experience it. It lets you in on what it really means to live in a society that is not built for you, that is built for those that might relish having power over you. It articulates the fatigue behind those who have personal stakes in social justice, and the psychological confusion that comes from enduring daily, institutionally condoned aggression directed at oneself-and at a collective. And it does all this without relying on a dichotomous "us/them" framework, which is interesting from both a social and formalist point of view. Just an objectively good book all around.

Jan 22, 2018

Required reading

vm510 Nov 30, 2017

This collection does a lot and does it beautifully through prose, poetry, and photographs. Rankine describes slights and microaggresions she and people she knows have experienced. She writes about Serena Williams' career and the racism she has faced from referees and spectators (probably my favorite piece in the entire book). She writes about national news events and history - many which occurred in the early-to-mid 2000s including the Jena Six, James Craig Anderson, and Zinedine Zidane.

Cynthia_N Oct 26, 2017

Very powerful and some of it just shocking. Great read!

LPL_ShirleyB Aug 15, 2017

Savor this wise, lyrical prose of race awareness. And meet Rankine in person September 7, 2017 at KU's Lied Center in Lawrence, KS.

Jul 07, 2017

A collection of poems, notes for scripts, artwork and descriptions of situations. Racism is alive and well in the U.S. of A.

AL_MARINA Feb 13, 2017

Fearlessly, Rankine lyrically dissects shadow side of the American racial psyche. From the not-so-old wounds of slavery to the still bleeding ones that have sparked the Black Lives Matter movement, she succinctly illustrates the heavy weight of racial disparity and the reality of being black in America.

PimaLib_RachelW Sep 27, 2016

Claudia Rankine was just announced as a 2016 MacArthur Foundation Genius Award winner!

“While our communities, our nation, and our world face both historic and emerging challenges, these 23 extraordinary individuals give us ample reason for hope. They are breaking new ground in areas of public concern, in the arts, and in the sciences, often in unexpected ways. Their creativity, dedication, and impact inspire us all.”

—MacArthur President Julia Stasch

Read her books to find out why!

LPL_KateG Nov 30, 2015

I have a mental list going of "Things White People Should Read" - books that expose areas of privilege and oppression of which we may not be otherwise aware. Citizen by Claudia Rankine is a poetic, lyrical addition to this list.

SchroederTribe Aug 06, 2015

Incredibly beautiful and savage and heartbreaking. Somehow her poets voice immerses the reader into the injustice and the harm - not just John Henryism but PTSD that is the African American experience in an honest way. Taking the reader by the hand to bear witness.

On Serena:
"Perhaps the committee's decision is only about context, though context is not meaning. It is a public event being watched in homes across the world. In any case, it is difficult not to think that if Sernea lost context by abandoning all rules of civility, it coule b because her body, trapped in racial imaginary, trapped in disbelief --code for being black in America -- is being governed not by the tennis match she is participating in but by a collapsed relationship that had promised to play by the rules. Perhaps this is how racism feels no matter the context --randomly the rules everyone else gets to play out "I swear to GOD!" is to be called insane, crass, crazy. Bad sportsmanship. (30)

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