Claudia Rankine Speaks about Citizen: An American Lyric at Concord Academy
May 17, 2019
On May 15, acclaimed poet Claudia Rankine brought to life the experience of Citizen: An American Lyric, an award-winning, genre-defying book of reflection, art, and cultural criticism, and a required text in Concord Academy’s sophomore English curriculum. Through essay, image, and poetry, Rankine strives in Citizen to reveal and make palpable implicit bias and the mechanisms of everyday racism. In her presentation during the school day, she illuminated some of the book’s most memorable passages and artworks for CA students. Rankine graciously signed books afterward for a long line of students and faculty, as she did again later that evening for a sizable audience of CA parents, alumnae/i, and friends. With parents, Rankine read from her upcoming book, Just Us: An American Conversation, an exploration of whiteness in American culture, and spoke about the creative actions of The Racial Imaginary Institute (TRII), a collective of writers and artists that she co-founded to capture, as the group says, “the enduring truth of race: it is an invented concept that nevertheless operates with extraordinary force in our daily lives, limiting our movements and imaginations.” Read more about her visit.