400 Year of Racism: Citizen By Claudia Rankine
Time & Location
About the Event
Folio presents a new series of book discussions exploring the history of racism in the United States through a collection fiction, nonfiction and poetry, curated and led by Folio librarian Lillian Dabney.
This month we discuss Citizen, 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.
About the Author
Claudia Rankine is an American poet and playwright born in 1963 and raised in Kingston, Jamaica and New York City. Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry, including "Citizen: An American Lyric" and "Don’t Let Me Be Lonely"; two plays including "The White Card," which premiered in February 2018 (ArtsEmerson and American Repertory Theater) and will be published with Graywolf Press in 2019, and "Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue"; as well as numerous video collaborations. She is also the editor of several anthologies including "The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind." In 2016, she cofounded The Racial Imaginary Institute. Among her numerous awards and honors, Rankine is the recipient of the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry and the Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, United States Artists and the National Endowment of the Arts. She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and teaches at Yale University as the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut.
Books in this series
- Open Season by Ben Crump
- So You Want To Talk About Race by Oluo Ijeoma
- The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X.Kendi
- The Fire This Time edited by Jesmyn Ward
- Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Citizen by Claudia Rankine
- A More Perfect Reunion by Calvin Baker
- What Truth Sounds Like by Michael Eric Dyson
- Don't Call Us Dead: Poems by Danez Smith
- Stony The Road by Henry Louis Gates