Although some people might think that it’s possible to completely reject anything they don’t like and turn away from these things, the protagonist believes that people are forced to soldier through even the most undesirable circumstances. Teachers and parents! The author writes in a free form, half poem, half prose format, which also includes pictures from current events, historical events, and historical civil rights emblems and paintings. Buy Citizen : An American Lyric Illustrated by Claudia Rankine (ISBN: 9781555976903) from Amazon's Book Store. “Did you win?” her partner asks. She determines that it’s either because her teacher doesn’t care about cheating or, worse, because she never truly saw the protagonist sitting there in the first place. Struggling with distance learning? Leaning against the wall, they discuss the riots that have broken out in London as a response to the unjustified police killing of a young black man named Mark Duggan. Again, the idea of invisibility surfaces. He is, the neighbor says, talking to himself. My students love how organized the handouts are and enjoy tracking the themes as a class.”. Hearing this, the protagonist wonders why her friend feels comfortable saying this to her, but she doesn’t object. Rankine continues to examine the protagonist’s gravitation toward numbness before abruptly switching to first-person narration on the book’s final page to recount an interaction she has while lying in bed with her partner. From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. In this conversation, the protagonist’s friend attempts to articulate the ways in which history has impacted both her and the protagonist’s cultural positionings. To demonstrate this, she turns to the career of the famous African American tennis player Serena Williams, pointing to the multiple injustices she has suffered at the hands of the predominantly white tennis community, which judges her unfairly because of her race. Here's where you'll find analysis of the film as a whole, from themes and symbols to key facts. From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. All the same, though, her guilt once more highlights the emotional strain that racism causes her. When she objects to his use of this word, he acts like it’s not a big deal. The protagonist experiences a slew of similar microaggressions. Eventually, the friend stops calling the protagonist by the wrong name, but the protagonist doesn’t forget this. LINKS Personal Website. “Would not have made it through AP Literature without the printable PDFs. This chapter of Claudia Rankine 's Citizen is distinct in its length and subject matter. LitCharts Teacher Editions. She also calls upon the accounts lip readers gave of what Materazzi said to provoke Zidane, revealing that Materazzi called him a “Big Algerian shit,” a “dirty terrorist,” and the n-word. Jamaican-American poet Claudia Rankine’s 2014 book-length poem, Citizen: An American Lyric chronicles racial micro-aggressions, demonstrating the depth at which racism is ingrained in day-to-day life. Some of them, though, aren’t actually all that micro. And though experiencing blatant and intentional racism would obviously be even more upsetting, it’s worth considering that this kind of entrenched, unacknowledged racism is perhaps harder to address. After all, the protagonist’s colleague hasn’t even stopped to think about the fact that he has said something problematic, meaning that the protagonist would most likely have to explain this to him if she were to speak up. They're like having in-class notes for every discussion!”, “This is absolutely THE best teacher resource I have ever purchased. Interests: Publications. The book has been described as both criticism and poetry; critic Michael Lindgren says the book "boundary-bending potency" and is "an innovative amalgam of genres." This kind of ignorance makes it even harder than it already is for people to push back against racism, since individuals like this man are apparently completely unaware of the impact their own behavior has on others. In keeping with this indication that it’s difficult to move on from this entrenched kind of racism, Rankine includes a picture called “Jim Crow Rd.” by the photographer Michael David Murphy. Rankine, Claudia. This is why the therapist screams at the protagonist—not because the protagonist actually poses a threat (obviously), but because the therapist has the preconceived (and deeply racist) idea that black people represent danger. This time, the protagonist considers the idea that this white man only ever sees people who are like him, effectively ignoring black people because he only relates to other white people. Rankine moves on to present “situation video[s]” commemorating the deaths of a number of black men who were killed because of the color of their skin, including Trayvon Martin and James Craig Anderson. At this point, Citizen becomes more abstract and poetic, as Rankine writes scripts for “situation video[s]” she has made in collaboration with her partner, John Lucas, who is a visual artist. She served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2013 to 2018. By the time she and her partner get to their house, the police have already come and gone, and the neighbor has apologized to their friend, who was simply on the phone. Returning to the unnamed protagonist, Rankine narrates a scene in which the protagonist is talking to a fellow artist at a party in England. Worse, saying this makes the protagonist feel like she—as a person of color—is expected to apologize. Yet again, the protagonist is forced to grapple with the fact that many white people don’t see her for who she is, instead focusing solely on the color of her skin. As a result, the protagonist feels suddenly jarred out of their otherwise close dynamic and unable to feel a sense of kinship with her friend, who is apparently so preoccupied by the supposed differences in their cultural identities. Each poem or passage, except the final two, addresses a specific event in recent history. "My students can't get enough of your charts and their results have gone through the roof." Recounting several of Williams’s “outburst[s]” in response to this unfairness, Rankine shows that responding to racism with anger—which understandably arises in such situations—often only makes matters worse, as is the case for Williams when she’s fined $82,500 for speaking out against a line judge who makes a blatantly biased call against her. Claudia Rankine, without telling us what to do, urges us to begin the discussions that might open pathways through this divisive and stuck moment in American history. ` Ultimately, Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric is a collage of poems that illustrates the reality of what it means to be a black citizen in America by utilizing the second person, “you,” that causes these racial accounts to feel personal to the reader. “Would not have made it through AP Literature without the printable PDFs. I chanced on this book on Salon.com. Citizen is comprised of multiple different artforms, including essayistic vignettes, poems, photographs, and other renderings of visual art. Still, the interaction leaves her with a dull headache and wishing she didn’t have to pretend that this sort of behavior is acceptable. Citizen: An American Lyric Claudia Rankine 24-page comprehensive study guide Features detailed chapter by chapter summaries and multiple sections of expert analysis The ultimate resource for class assignments, lesson planning, or leading discussions . Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. In disjointed and figurative writing, Rankine creates a sense of desperation and inequity, depicting what it feels like to belong to one of the many black communities along the Gulf Coast—communities that national relief organizations all but ignored and ultimately failed to properly serve after the hurricane devastated the area and left many people homeless. Chapter Summaries & Analyses. She most likely suggests this because she herself is constantly trying to think of ways to cope with and avoid racist situations. Born in Jamaica in 1963, Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, 2014), which received the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of. Claudia Rankine said as much in her speech at the 2011 AWP conference, and she was right: That talk created an immediate sensation, ... Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine… Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine, is a work in progress (it's been updated many times now). Citizen stretches the conventions of traditional lyric poetry by interweaving several forms of text and media into a collective portrait … All the same, though, the man who calls the teenagers the n-word refuses to acknowledge his own racism, acting as if it’s not problematic that he has just used the most offensive and racist word possible to refer to black people. Instead of following the woman to ask why she did this, the protagonist took her tennis racket and went to the court. Instead of level-headedly seeing this man for the person he is, the neighbor quickly decides that he’s a criminal. RESPONSE: Citizen by Claudia Rankine 1 Craft Response: Citizen, by Claudia Rankine Julianne Henderson University of San Francisco Seminar: Further Forms Professor Soma Mei Sheng Frazier September 9, 2017 RESPONSE: Citizen by Claudia Rankine 2 In her captivating lyric essay, Citizen, Claudia Rankine exposes the inane logic that perpetuates racial injustice in our daily lives. Continuing to detail the experiences of this unnamed protagonist, Rankine narrates an instance later in the young woman’s life, when her friend frequently calls her by the name of her own housekeeper. Citizen: An American Lyric.Graywolf P, 2014. (including. >Political performance art. Contact Information E-mail: crankin@usc.edu Phone: (213) 821-0477 Office: THH 430 . Chapters … Unsurprisingly, the protagonist is right. Encountering ignorance and bigotry seemingly everywhere she goes, the protagonist begins to worry that her physical health will begin to suffer. Claudia Rankine (/ ˈ r æ ŋ k ɪ n /; born September 15, 1963) is an American poet, essayist, playwright, and the editor of several anthologies.She is the author of five volumes of poetry, two plays, and various essays. We'll make guides for February's winners by March 31st—guaranteed. It is prevalent all over the world and that is not something to be proud of for anyone. Claudia Rankine’s fifth book, 2014’s Citizen: An American Lyric, is a profound meditation on racism expressed through literary fragments. An even more pronouncedly racist moment occurs when the protagonist is in line at Starbucks and the white man standing in front of her calls a group of black teenagers the n-word. Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric is a genre-bending meditation on race, racism, and citizenship in 21st-century America. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Citizen: An American Lyric is a 2014 book-length poem by American poet Claudia Rankine. The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of. -Graham S. Thinking about the way it feels to process racist comments, the. My students love how organized the handouts are and enjoy tracking the themes as a class.”. Rankine transitions to an examination of how the protagonist and other people of color respond to a constant barrage of racism. It begins by introducing an unnamed black protagonist, whom Rankine refers to as “you.” A child, this character is sitting in class one day when the white girl sitting behind her quietly asks her to lean over so she can copy her test answers. In this way, she is the one who would have to expend emotional energy in order to address. Claudia Rankine. “It was a lesson.”, Instant downloads of all 1408 LitChart PDFs Access Full Guide. From the creators of SparkNotes. Just Us is an invitation to discover what it takes to stay in the room together, even and especially in breaching the silence, guilt, and violence that follow direct addresses of whiteness. Instead, she blames his rejection on a policy intended to uplift people from disenfranchised communities, effectively pinning her son’s failure on people of color. Butler says that this is because simply existing makes people “addressable,” opening them up to verbal attack by others. When she tells him not to “get all KKK” on the teenagers, he says, “Now there you go,” trying to make it seem like the protagonist is the one who has overstepped, not him. Education. The protagonist insists that the man is her friend, reminding the neighbor that he has even met this person, but the neighbor refuses to believe this, saying that he has already called the police. Even though it will be obvious that the girl behind her is cheating, the protagonist obliges by leaning over, wondering all the while why her teacher hasn’t noticed. This dilemma arises frequently for the protagonist, like when a colleague at the university where she teaches complains to her about the fact that his dean is forcing him to hire a person of color. Our. They're like having in-class notes for every discussion!”, “This is absolutely THE best teacher resource I have ever purchased. When he says this, the protagonist realizes that the humorist has effectively excluded her from the rest of the audience by exclusively addressing the white people in the crowd, focusing only on their perspective while failing to recognize (or care about) how racist his remark really is. LitCharts Teacher Editions. Citizen claudia rankine sparknotes. The next “situation video” that Rankine presents is about the 2006 soccer World Cup, when Zinedine Zidane headbutted Marco Materazzi, who verbally provoked him. Claudia Rankine Aerol Arnold Professor of English. The picture is of a well-manicured suburban neighborhood with sizable houses in the background. At one point, she attends a reading by a humorist who implies that it’s common for white people to laugh at racist jokes in private, adding that most people wouldn’t laugh at this kind of joke if they were out in public where black people might overhear them. There is, in other words, no way of avoiding the initial pain. Needless to say, the n-word is closely associated with bigotry and an entire history of injustice, including American slavery and the Jim Crow era. Claudia Rankine is most recently the author of the poetry collections Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, 2014), Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, 2004), and Plot (Grove Press, 2001).For Citizen, she received the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry.She currently serves as the Henry G. Lee Professor of Poetry at Pomona College. Claudia Rankine on Citizen: An American Lyric - 2015 L.A. Times Festival of Books - Duration: 9:15. In the final sections of the book, the second-person protagonist notices that nobody is willing to sit next to a certain black man on the train, so she takes the seat. Considering Schiller and Arnold Through Claudia Rankine’s Citizen Reading Between Lines of Citizen Although the man doesn’t turn to look at her, she feels connected to him, understanding that it’s sometimes necessary to numb oneself to the many microaggressions and injustices hurled at black people. She tells him she was killing time in the parking lot by the local tennis courts that day when a woman parked in the spot facing her car but, upon seeing the protagonist sitting across from her, put her car in reverse and parked elsewhere. Although she’s afraid of getting caught by Sister Evelyn, she is also bothered by the fact that Sister Evelyn doesn’t even notice what she’s doing, since this underlines the extent to which her own teacher has failed to not only care about her, but even acknowledge her presence. Summary. What’s more, although she chooses not to say anything about her friend’s problematic mistake, that doesn’t mean that she has forgotten about it—a reminder that this kind of mistreatment has a lasting impact, lingering long after it has taken place. Indeed, this means having to contend with ignorance and mistreatment while spending time with people she considers friends. “Jim Crow Rd.” is the first photograph to appear in the book, and it serves an important role: to show readers just how thoroughly the United States’ painfully racist history has worked its way into the present. Instant downloads of all 1408 LitChart PDFs This consideration of numbness continues into the concluding section, entitled “July 13, 2013”—the day Trayvon Martin’s killer was acquitted. In this moment, the protagonist realizes that being black in a white-dominated world doesn’t make her feel invisible, but “hypervisible.” This, in turn, accords with the author Zora Neale Hurston’s line that she feels “most colored” when she’s “thrown against a sharp white background.” These thoughts, however, don’t ease the pain—the persistent headache—that the protagonist feels on a daily basis because of the racist way people treat her. It is "political poetry" at its best, most moving, uncomfortable for me as a white woman but searing and with a beauty in the language that conveys the ugliness, the horror in much of what it tells. This, in turn, illustrates how destructive it can be to face the nearly impossible task of coping with racism. A Symposium, Part I. Daniel Worden . The existence of John Henryism is a testament to just how much facing discrimination can refigure a person’s life. Standing in line one day at a Starbucks, the, In this scene, the protagonist encounters a much more blatant form of racism than the kind she experiences on a daily basis. The overall message of this chapter is that racism is still alive in the modern world and that black people are paying with their lives. The artist speaking to the protagonist is white, and he asks her if she’s going to write about Duggan. Our. Using frame-by-frame photographs that show the progression leading to the headbutt, Rankine quotes a number of writers and thinkers, including the philosopher Maurice Blanchot, Ralph Ellison, Frantz Fanon, and James Baldwin. What’s more, although she chooses not to say anything about her friend’s problematic mistake, that doesn’t mean that she has forgotten about it—a reminder that this kind of mistreatment has a lasting impact, lingering long after it has taken place. B.A., Williams College ; M.F.A., Columbia University; Description of Research. Citizen: An American Lyric is a book-length poem in 12 chapters by award-winning Jamaican-born poet Claudia Rankine. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. This outlook is most likely informed by her experience as a person of color who has faced many forms of mistreatment and has been forced to move on. See a complete list of the characters in Citizen Kane and in-depth analyses of Charles Foster Kane, Jedediah Leland, and Susan Alexander Kane. Whereas a white person who has never encountered discrimination might think it’s possible to create one’s own reality, the protagonist sees this as a privileged and naïve perspective. The protagonist knows that her friend makes this mistake because the housekeeper is the only other black person in her life, but neither of them mention this. On the drive back from the movie, the protagonist receives a call from her neighbor, who tells her that there’s a sinister looking man walking back and forth in front of her house. She also writes about racist profiling in a script entitled “Stop-and-Frisk,” providing a first-person account by an unidentified narrator who is pulled over for no reason and mistreated by the police, all because he is a black man who “fit[s] the description” of a criminal for whom the police are supposedly looking. Get all the key plot points of Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric on one page. Claudia Rankine is the author of five books, including Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric and the bestselling Citizen: An American Lyric. However, her friend helps her see that acquiescing to her neighbor’s racism is no way of responding to such a situation, reminding her that he has a right to do what he wants. “Citizen – An American Lyric” by Claudia Rankine is a book which can be applied to anywhere in any country. This confounds and seemingly irks him, prompting the protagonist to wonder why he would think it’d be difficult to properly feel “the injustice wheeled at” a person of another race. A mixed-media collection of vignettes, poems, photographs, and reproductions of various forms of visual art, Citizen floats in and out of a multiple topics and perspectives. Lyndale, Minneapolis, MN 55408 and avoid racist situations t write about it from Wikipedia, free! 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