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Assignment Instructions: From the questions below, please select 4 of the questions to carefully examine and answer in detail.
Please choose 4 of the 7 options to address in your Paper:
1. Citizen narrates many instances of micro-aggressions—individual acts of racism that collectively form the crushing experience of racism in America. Is racism a singular action, or is it a series of acts? What is the difference between the singular action and the accumulation of them?
2. As Citizen has been reprinted, the different editions have incorporated changes to the text, most notably the inclusion on page 134 of the names of African Americans killed since previous printings. How does this evolution align with the book’s core questions and preoccupations? Are there other ways in which Citizen feels like a book that has changed in light of more recent events?
3. Many readers and critics have pointed out that Citizen defies established genre distinctions (it was even nominated for National Book Critics Circle Awards in both the Poetry and Criticism categories). Reading Citizen, did you think of it as poetry? As prose? Does it matter?
4. Citizen’s discussion of Serena and Venus Williams includes the Zora Neale Hurston quote, “I feel most colored when I am thrown against a sharp white background.” How does this quote encapsulate the Williams sisters’ experience in the world of professional tennis? How does this quote relate to Citizen as a whole?
5. Referring again to Serena Williams, Rankine states, “Yes, and the body has memory. The physical carriage hauls more than its weight.” How do sports in particular encourage spectators and officials to assume influence or even ownership over the bodies of the players? Does this have parallels to other areas of American life?
6. How does Citizen portray and address the privileged position of white Americans? How does Rankine also show the effects of a racist system on those white Americans?
7. What associations does the image on the cover of the book bring up for you? Is it surprising that the work of art it depicts, In the Hood by David Hammons, was first exhibited in 1993? How does In the Hood relate to the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012? What does this seemingly disjointed timeframe say about the deadly effects of racism in America?
Source: Instructor’s Guide: Graywolf Press
Be sure to use a minimum of 2 sources from literary criticism published by scholars that you incorporate and synthesize into your paper in order to support your assertions. These may either be paraphrased or summarized.
Note: Spark Notes and Wikipedia do not count as secondary sources. The secondary sources need to be substantial sources that you draw from in order for them to count as credible scholarly secondary sources for this paper.
Excellent Resource: Please use the Literary Resource Center Data Bases in the Mission College Library to find support for your assertions.
MLA In-Text Citations and Works Cited Page:
It is imperative and a must that you give credit to each source that you use information from or else you are plagiarizing and will end up with a 0 on the assignment.
Please include a Works Cited Page with full citations (MLA format) for each source.
Length: 1000-1200 words