Citizen : An American Lyric Essay

760 Words Sep 13th, 2015 4 Pages
In Claudia Rankine’s “Citizen: An American Lyric”, she expresses present day issues of racism through poetry. In this poem she describes an occasion where the she goes to see a film with her partner and she allows a friend to babysit. She receives a call from the neighbor that there is a threatening man walking near both of homes and the police were contacted. It is explained to the neighbor that a friend is babysitting and reassures the neighbor that she has met this young man. She calls the babysitter to find that he is outside on the phone. When she describes the situation the babysitter explains that if someone imitating was outside he would be well aware. The police come and it is identified that the person they believed to be threatening was the babysitter. The neighbor apologizes to the babysitter and the homeowner. The homeowner then suggests to the babysitter that next time he should speak on the phone in the backyard. He replies he could speak on the phone wherever he likes and the homeowner replies of course you can. The primary theme identifies how perception in certain areas easily eludes to racist thoughts. Rankine uses poetry to evoke feelings of micro-aggression. Racism being such a touchy subject, her poetry is subtle yet direct. Rankine’s poetry is unique in which she uses a style called American lyric to identify common injustices that is viewed in the colored lens to society making situations more accepting. The artist uses the poetry…

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