over 150 years since the

Till this very date, over 150 years since the abolition of slavery in America, the subject of race remains a rather tempestuous and sensitive topic. The end of segregation in politics, workplaces and educational institutions did not mark the end of racial inequalities and injustices but merely obscured them. In the Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine highlights the rather subtle nuances of racism and prejudice that is rampant in the so-called “post-racial” United States. Rankine scrutinizes the macrosociology of racism by examining individual instances of ostracization and otherness in day-to-day life, at the boardroom, at billing counters and even around friends. A collection of anecdotal microaggressions, comments or actions that subtly and often unconsciously expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group, the Citizen is an experimental piece of writing, an amalgamation of poetry and prose with contemporary multimedia art, subverting the conventional standards of poetry. A close analysis of Rankine’s poems leads to the question of the degree of impact microaggressions have on an individual and its relationship with macroaggressions.


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