Claudia Rankine analyzes racism to its core, bringing to surface that miniscule events are just as problematic as televised ones. Her words are beautifully brutal, striking up emotions for anyone that reads it. As readers, we are taken through a journey from past to present events of racial incidents experienced by different genders and ages. Above all, Rankine provides a strong indication that racism is far from over. Citizen: American Lyric is formatted into various stanzas and sentences, in some cases the stanzas are just one line in other cases they are paragraphs. Additionally, the lyric is divided into seven section, each connected by the theme of racism. Rankine uses various literary elements throughout the lyrics. However, the point …show more content…
Similar to future sections in the lyric Rankine makes allusion to news events. Throughout section two of the lyric, people question why black people are always mad and whether they should be. A YouTuber mentions that anger is the only way blacks can be successful in their culture. The sections then goes on to speak of Serena Williams, although we are informed about her success in her tennis career, it is completely overshadowed by her “unnecessary anger”. This was particularly interesting because this was how Serena Williams was thought of by the public during this time, everyone ignored her success and focused on one thing to criticize her for. Making the reader realize why she acted the way she did. Williams and other icons have every right to be angry, because they faced injustice throughout their lifetime and career. Though, they are scrutinized for using their platform to bring awareness to it. Eventually Williams changes her persona, consequently leading the press describes her as “calmer”. But, one can imagine the willpower it took to control one's anger from Wozniacki tasteless stunt, as seen in the image selected by Rankine. Yet, perhaps this stunt was needed to finally prove that Serena William and other community members still have the right to be …show more content…
There is a belief that since America is unsegregated everyone is now equal and it is possible to achieve the American Dream. However, the passing of civil rights laws does not make up for the lost time during discrimination and segregation. Claudia Rankine clearly demonstrates that the black community continues to face discrimination, stereotypes, and prejudice. Additionally, she states that minor incidents are actually a part of the societal and political problem that needs to change. There are two messages Rankine sends. The first “It wasn’t a match, I say. It was a lesson.” Meaning that the purpose of the lyric is for the reader to gain insight into what it means to be black. The second message feels almost hopeless: “I don't know how to end what doesn't have an ending,” demonstrating that it has been decades of these events occurring, because there is no solution and questioning if there ever will
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“Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates was a powerful essay formatted in a letter to his son about living in the world as a person with colored skin. The most powerful messaged I personally encountered in Coats’ letter to his son, is his expressed fear on behalf of his child for the way in which America and the world treats people of color. Coates’ essay was nearly a letter of warning with political and social references weaved throughout referring to the state of race relations in America, and why it is so closely related to the safety and health of his son. Throughout the essay, Coates used the ominous theme of inequality and brutality, both historical and contemporary, to convey his unrest with the way his son must lead his life.
Touching upon one specific case of this growing problem, she incorporates “Michael Brown,” who was an “18-year old unarmed black man shot down by a white police officer.” As heartbreaking as it sounds, it has happened on several occasions to men similar to “Michael Brown.” Accordingly, Myers formulates that it “is the same story. It is just different names.” Myers logically lists the other names of several black men who unfortunately fell victim to hate crimes, (Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin), as well as flashing their images on the screen. Not only does Verna Myers use imagery in order to show that there is an evident issue with brutality and racism, but she knows it will tug on her viewers heartstrings. Likewise, this makes her audience become wary and sympathetic towards the situation at
"Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a nonfiction book that explains what it means to be black in society today. As Coates writes to his son, Samori, he portrays the pain he endured and the events he witnessed as a young "black man." He concludes by telling his son that these are simply the facts of life, growing up with the skin tone they have, but to stay motivated and to stay strong, because the world will not change for one person. In this letter, he is not optimistic. The material introduces the controversial topic of racism in America, through biases, thought-provoking quotes, and he explains how this issue will continue to manifest for years to come.
Slavery is abolished. Segregation is prohibited. How far has American society progressed in the subject of racism? Claudia Rankine’s Citizen offers a look into the problems that persist today through a compilation of stories and images. She uses facts and literal explanations along with multiple forms of symbolism to express numerous flaws still happening today. Focusing specifically on the ruminant animal symbol, Rankine portrays the American culture’s habit of pressuring people to repress their afflictions, specifically caused by instances of racial microaggression. She also brings attention to the preconceived ideas regarding race that stem from the unnatural, but historical events from America’s past.
Therefore, it shows that Lorde has to stand up for herself in order to go to the dining car. The essay reflects on when Lorde and her family visit a store, they were told to leave the store which made them feel excluded from the crowd. The author writes, “My mother and father believed that they could best protect their children from the realities of race in America and the fact of the American racism by never giving them name, much less discussing their nature. We were told we must never trust white people, but why was never explained, nor the nature of their ill will” (Lorde, 240). The quote explains that Lorde’s parents thought they can protect their child in United States from the racism, however, they had to go through it and face racism in their daily life. This shows that her parents were aware of racism, which they might have to stand up for their rights, but they did not take the stand for themselves as well as their child. Therefore, her parents guided them to stay away from white people. This tells readers that Lorde has to fight for the independence that she deserves along with going against her
Danielle Evans’ second story “Snakes” from the collection of short stories, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self depict a biracial girl who has been pressured due to her grandmother’s urge to dominate her. The story pictures her suffering with remarkable plot twist in the end of the story. Evans utilize a profound approach on how to bring readers to closely examine racism implicitly, to make readers recognize the actions may lead to social discrimination and its consequences that are often encountered in our daily life.
These three pieces of literature reveal how our society has come full circle, from the 1850's up until 2018. In the land of the free we still have second class citizens created by our "just" legal system, and microaggressions which are remnants of old school racism, difficult to erase because of how subtle. These forms of racism have permeated the mind subconsciously through environmental, institutional, or societal cues. This only shows how much further we as a collective country must go to rid the future of these damaging preconceived notions. This will prove difficult because of how harmless and personal the incidents of microaggressions seem. This allows for the offender and offended to brush it off, or deny the incident even occurred. Rankine compares microaggressions to rain droplets. Alone one drop of water is harmless, but the wetness is still on your shirt. Cohesively, water droplets can soak your shirt, cause a mudslide; simply cause some sort of damage. Like water drops, we must remain together in the battle against these microaggressions to prove most successful. As a nation it's time to rise and admit the faults and prejudice of our legal system. It's time to realize that politics, race, and law are too tightly interwoven in our country and needs reform. If institutions of our country assist in creating such
The poet suggests that he uses the time in which he has been segregated to his own advantage. He is able to grow stronger. The second stanza establishes that segregation is still a part of life for many black Americans, but the last lines of the stanza indicate that segregation will not last.
In this Award winning novel the 1900 display an astonishing amount of racism, and makes us realize that is is still going on till this very day. “I was just shootin a negro in my collard patch” (pg72Lee). This quote shows us that even maybe the gentlest most kind people are very judgemental and racist. That's the problem even today before even getting to know someone we automatically process the way they look and say to ourself he is black so he will steal something or we will say he has tattoos so we have to hold our belongings a little tighter, and without even knowing, we ourself have become something that we have all feared which is not give everyone a fair chance based on what they look like. Today racism is still very much apart of our culture
On Being Young-A Woman-and Colored an essay by Marita Bonner addresses what it means to be black women in a world of white privilege. Bonner reflects about a time when she was younger, how simple her life was, but as she grows older she is forced to work hard to live a life better than those around her. Ultimately, she is a woman living with the roles that women of all colors have been constrained to. Critics, within the last 20 years, believe that Marita Bonners’ essay primarily focuses on the double consciousness ; while others believe that she is focusing on gender , class , “economic hardships, and discrimination” . I argue that Bonner is writing her essay about the historical context of oppression forcing women into intersectional oppression by explaining the naturality of racial discrimination between black and white, how time and money equate to the American Dream, and lastly how gender discrimination silences women, specifically black women.
The first thing I noticed after reading The Meaning of Serena Williams: On Tennis and Black Excellence was that the author, Claudia Rankine, portrayed Serena Williams as the human she really is. One way she did this was by not trying to make Serena’s bad moments seem any better than they really were. An example of this is when she is describing events where Serena lost control during a match. After describing an event involving Serena, a line judge, and a lot of profanity, Rankine says, “And in doing so, we actually see her. She shows us her joy, her humor, and, yes, her rage. She gives us the whole range of what it is to be human, and there are those who can’t bear it, who can’t tolerate the humanity of an extraordinary person.” Rankine is
Today race relations are a huge topic and issue in our country. With social media comes faster ways to spread videos or information showing poor race relations such as racism and discrimination. This issue has led to not only violence but also deaths in our country. Even though we all can see the problems it causes for everyone, discrimination continues to grow stronger and stronger. In “Train to Rhodesia” and “The prisoner who wore glasses” poor race relations are shown between white and blacks, the most common example of poor race relations. Stereotypes, Assumptions, and a feeling of being superior to another race are the root of not only the problems in these two stories, but also in the world today, especially here in the U.S. between white
The film observes and analyzes the origins and consequences of more than one-hundred years of bigotry upon the ex-slaved society in the U.S. Even though so many years have passed since the end of slavery, emancipation, reconstruction and the civil rights movement, some of the choice terms prejudiced still engraved in the U.S society. When I see such images on the movie screen, it is still hard, even f...
By being made to empathize with the supposed outsiders of society, such as Cholly Breedlove, the reader challenges the assumption that readers of American fiction only think from a white perspective. The novel, if read closely, shifts the trend of the white audience by making the reader aware of the inner workings of a racialized imagination and the consequences of not questioning such a mechanism. This awareness causes the reader to start to question the consequences of a racialized imagination in other
Rankine manages to show the dynamics of racial situations are not just present tense but also unconscious and historical. She writes “This is how you are a citizen. Come on. Let it go. Move on.” This poem brings hope that perhaps through it all we can all manage to be a bit more conscious as human beings and racism does not stem merely from blatant acts of hate, but rather unconscious ignorance and daily interactions. She challenges us in a way where we can think to stop and battle these situations rather than merely overlooking them as well as putting a stop to them when we experience others unconsciously acting in such a way as well. Rankine says, “All our fevered history won't instill insight, won't turn a body conscious, won't make that look in the eyes say