Citizen By Claudia Rankine Essay

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A recurring theme in the book Citizen by Claudia Rankine is the erasure of African Americans in society and their own identities. On page 77 of the book, Rankine tells a story of someone who is presumably African American at a grocery store. A man cuts in front of them and then the cashier points out that they were in front of him. The man apologizes and says “Oh my God, I didn’t see you…I really didn’t see you”. This may suggest that since black people tend to be erased in society, other people cannot see them. On page 146 of the book, Rankine explains that “the worst injury is feeling you don’t belong so much to you.” I can infer that Rankine feels like she doesn’t belong to herself because people are not only erasing African-Americans, but the African American identity. Overall, I believe the book brought very real issues about racism in America to light. However, I felt like I didn’t take away a larger lesson from it because I felt that I already knew a good amount about the topics that were presented by Rankine. But even though I could already understand the social issues and struggles of the African-American community, I still believe that other people who don’t know as much as I do can take away some insightful information from the book. A good example of how Rankine brings light to the issues of…show more content…
For example, Rankine writes, “And yes, I want to interrupt to tell him her us you me I don’t know how to end what doesn’t have an ending”. This part was confusing and hard to read because she didn’t use punctuations in that sentence. Then she continues with, “Tell me a story, he says, wrapping his arms around me.” She does not establish who “he” is which confused me. Although I understand that those parts are supposed to be poetic, it’s still hard to read between the lines and I believe it went over many readers’
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