Racism In Serena Williams's Citizen: An American Lyric

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“Citizen: An American Lyric” is a poem about the issues of race that gives a voice to African-Americans and strife in a white majority country. The book begins with the mention of “racial incidents experienced by Rankine and friends of hers” in the second person (Chiasson 1). Then, the experiences in a private school, the cabin of a plane, and on the way to therapy demonstrate that Claudia Rankine used African-Americans as professionals and academics who encounter injustices (Bass 1). For example, the author implements Serena Williams’ story. As a black tennis player in a white dominated sport, she had to confront “egregious acts of racism and unfairness” from umpires and commentators (Evaristo 1). One of the author’s objectives is to demonstrate that “no American citizen is ever really free of race and …show more content…

This allowed readers to experience horrible acts of white people and to empathize with the innocent victims. However, Rankine criticizes the people of the United States for their attitudes and behaviors towards African-Americans. Particularly, the author claimed that “as citizens, we are all involved in society’s indignities and injustices, whether as perpetrator or bystander consciously or unthinkingly” (Evaristo 1). Thus, the book challenges people’s perceptions and beliefs, compelling them to reevaluate their actions. The readers begin to understand that their tolerance of violence and lack of actions to prevent racism contributes to injustices in the United States. Rankine even implied that “freedom of expression, something which the accumulative stresses of racial violence would seem to attempt to limit” blocks and alters “his or her experience of citizenship” (Day 3). Therefore, the citizens need to get involved in supporting and protecting African-Americans’ lives, who are loyal residents of the nation as

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