Review: Rankine’s Citizen

Citizen: An American Lyric
Claudia Rankine

I’m really not a poetry guy, but so many brilliant friends recommended this, I had to give it a go. So, so glad I did. A gut wrenching meditation on American racism both systemically, and personally this book had me in awe. Rankine not only makes brutal point after point that being black in America is still to be other, marginalized “moved on”, she makes it beautifully, again and again. Representing in her language the myriad ways racism touches her life, my life, all our lives. As Coates’s Between You And Me feels like it was written all at once, in a rush to get the anger on the page, this book feels like it was slowly sharpened overtime to a razors edge. The books deal with same subject matter – racism – but in different ways. You should read them both.


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