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Poet Explores Ferguson, Racism Through Poetry

PBS's Gwen Ifill recently interviewed California poet and playwright Claudia Rankine, who authored “Citizen,” a National Book Award finalist. Rankine told Ifill that she was exploring big national events like those in Ferguson and New York through her poetry. Education World recommends this interview to high school teachers who want to explore these issues with their classes.

Rankine shared the following with Ifill:

In my most recent book, “Citizen,” I wanted to try to track the moments that disrupt interactions, especially between people of different races. The book contains two kinds of aggressions, what is commonly known as microaggressions, the small moments that I referred to.

But then I wanted to begin to understand how we get these major moments, the murders of black men, these kind of moments in 2014 where you think, how did that happen?

And I wanted to track it back and say, well, if people in their daily lives begin by believing and saying these small things, they will add up to major, major aggressions against people just because of the color of their skin. And so the book tracks the small to the large.

View the entire interview.

 

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