Racism In Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric

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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 …show more content…
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 as way to show the politics of racism are not to be looked over. Thoughout this poem she uses unconventional style as a platform to make people aware of everyday occurrences that not acceptable. Rankine makes a point to show that the world has a very divided view. Many people exhibit racially inappropriate actions without even consciously understanding the meaning. Her poetry speaks volumes as it is relatable to everyday life of African Americans. Examining this specific poem we find many discrepancies of behavior. The writer’s explanation of going to a film and having a babysitter is expected behavior. It can be expected that people can walk outside and be on the phone yet what determines that situation to be threatening. When the

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