I need a reading notes 2 pg long. Reading parts I-V, 6-71,
FOCUSED READING QUESTIONS
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- Citizen was published in 2014. What impact do the recent events arising from the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent BLM protests have on your reading of this text today, six years later? What’s changed between 2014 and 2021 in terms of Rankine’s representation of Black life in America? What’s remained the same?
- Which aspects of Rankine’s discussion of her project in Citizen in the PBS Newshour segment surprised or helped you understand her work more clearly?
- What connections are you able to draw between Gilgamesh and Citizen? What strikes you as most surprising or unusual about this comparison?
- What words, definitions, or ideas do you associate with the word “citizen”? What is your definition of “citizen”? How does it differ from Rankine’s?
- Rankine addresses “you” throughout the book. Where do you recognize yourself in the encounters described in Citizen, if at all? What perspectives or angles of experience were you surprised to inhabit, and why?
FOCUSED READING QUESTIONS: Citizen, Part III, 41-79
- How do the visual images in Citizen affect your reading of the text? What does the etching by Glenn Ligon on 52-53 express that can’t be expressed by words alone? What does this and other images throughout the book add to your experience of Rankine’s text?
- Following from this, how do you interpret the scene on p. 77? What point is Rankine making about seeing vs. not seeing? Which position in this part of Rankine’s narrative is most familiar to you: the customer in line or the “you” who narrates the experience? What is it that isn’t being seen?
- Citizen narrates many instances of micro-aggressions —individual acts of racism that collectively form the crushing experience of racism in America. In what ways is racism a singular action? In what ways is it a series of acts? What is the difference between the singular action and the accumulation of them?