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On Exhibit at Robeson Library: The Big Read/Citizen: An American Lyric

November 7, 2017
Citizen: An American Lyric

Paul Robeson Library, in conjunction with the Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts, is hosting The Big Read/Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine now through January 5, 2018.

Rankine’s bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in 21st-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seemingly slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV—everywhere, all the time.

The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society.

Complimentary copies of Citizen are available on a first-come, first-served basis and viewers will have the opportunity to contribute to a handcrafted, magnetic poetry installation. If you take a picture of your magnetic poem and post it to your social media, please use the hashtag #CitizenRutgers.

At Rutgers–Camden, the goal of the Big Read is to connect approximately 3,000 New Jerseyans to the book and to each other through a two-month celebration, featuring a lecture series, interactive installations, and family-friendly storytelling performances. These activities are sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information, visit the Big Read website.