Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
The interpersonal use of the “you” (the second person) in Citizen: An American Lyric commands the reader to not look away and bear witness to the interiority Black Americans’ consciousness. The essay examines the transformation of Rankine’s works that expands how double consciousness, found in Citizen, influences the creative writing space (the racial imaginary) and exposes the ongoing discrimination against Black Americans due to white privilege. Rankine’s other works Just US: An American Conversation and The Racial Imaginary compile viewpoints of both Black and white communities that remember moments that either they witnessed racist discrimination or experienced it in some form. Double consciousness is not just a simple exploration of twoness; it exposes what white social construct looks like, the interiority of everyday racism. Through conversations found in Citizen, The Racial Imaginary, and Just Us, Rankine offers a possibility that there can be an inclusive American consciousness, only if all communities acknowledge each other.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Chak, Winnie. Personhood and Objecthood: Examining the Speaker’s Interiority and Double Consciousness in Citizen: An American Lyric. 2022. Chapman University, MA Thesis. Chapman University Digital Commons, https://doi.org/10.36837/chapman.000335
Available for download on Monday, May 20, 2024