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Literature Study GuidesCitizen An American Lyric

Citizen: An American Lyric | Study Guide

Claudia Rankine

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Course Hero. "Citizen: An American Lyric Study Guide." Course Hero. 22 Nov. 2019. Web. 30 Nov. 2022. <>.

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Course Hero. (2019, November 22). Citizen: An American Lyric Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved November 30, 2022, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2019)



Course Hero. "Citizen: An American Lyric Study Guide." November 22, 2019. Accessed November 30, 2022.


Course Hero, "Citizen: An American Lyric Study Guide," November 22, 2019, accessed November 30, 2022,



Claudia Rankine

Year Published





History, Memoir, Philosophy

At a Glance

Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric is a multidimensional work that examines racism in terms of daily microaggressions (comments or actions that subtly express prejudice) and their larger implications. The work incorporates lyric essay, prose poem, verse poem, and image in its exploration of the ways in which racism can affect identity. Citizen is not a simple collection of Rankine's poetry but is an intentionally constructed experience, through which readers can glimpse into the contemporary African American experience.

About the Title

The title, Citizen: An American Lyric, refers to the aspect of belonging within the concept of American citizenship. The textual exploration is a lyric because Rankine's writing takes the form of image- or sentiment-based poetry and essay. Rankine's work explores questions of what it means to be a black American, as well as the meaning and responsibilities of citizenship and belonging in American society.


This study guide for Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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