Citizen : An American Lyric Essay examples

1264 Words Dec 14th, 2016 6 Pages
Claudia Rankine’s book Citizen: An American Lyric redefines our understanding of the presence of racism in everyday life by writing about it in several personal stories, and poetical lines. Prevalent throughout the novel is the theme of “white and black” that represents not only a difference in skin color, but also the visibility of those two colors. One of her most compelling points is about a consequence of the ongoing fight against racism: loss of individual identity. The presence of “white and black” symbolizes the presence of racism, and the transition between the two represents the inability to preserve the individual identity from the conflicts of racism.
In order to present this idea, Rankine writes about very personal stories and includes images that also align with the message of those stories. Quickly throwing the reader into two whole pages of artwork, Rankine emphasizes her point that black people do not always feel colored, but they do feel most colored when in a white background. More specifically, the image depicts the phrase, “I do not always feel colored. I feel most colored when I am thrown against a sharp white background,” (Rankine 52-53) multiple times down both pages with a harsh black font and a completely white background. As the phrases descend, the black grows and sporadically splatters over the white spaces, overcoming them. These images symbolize the individuality of those who experience prejudice and how the more this prejudice is realized, the…

Related Documents