Summary Of Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric

Good Essays
Although slavery and segregation have been abolished and deemed illegal, racism is still a major issue in today’s society. In Claudia Rankines, Citizen: An American Lyric, she explores racism in a unique way. She takes situations that happen on a daily basis, real life tragedies and acts in the media to analyze and bring awareness to the subtle and not so subtle forms of racism. While reading Citizen, people may interpret Rankine’s use of different pronouns as a way to detach herself from the situations so she wouldn’t come across as biased or one sided. However, through repeated use of different pronouns in Citizen, Rankine pulls the focus of the readers making them feel like they can identify with the different situations. Claudia Rankine begins Citizen: An American Lyric by describing different situations where subtle racism is experienced. These type of subtle racisms that occur in everyday life are known as micro-aggressions. Micro-aggressions are a subtle form of racism that undermine a person’s existence. Instead of using first person point of view to explain each encounters Rankine uses second person point of view. In this situation, a man tells the narrator that they’re basically being forced to hire a person of color and undermining their writing ability. Rankine writes, “You think maybe this is an experiment and you are being tested or retroactively insulted or you have done something that communicates this is an okay conversation to be having” (10). Instead
Get Access