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'Citizen: An American Lyric' meditates on the trauma of racism

'Citizen: An American Lyric' meditates on the trauma of racism

Claudia Rankine's "Citizen: An American Lyric," a series of prose poems on the manifold ways racism manifests itself in contemporary society and burrows into black consciousness, glides down its own lyrical path with beguiling confidence. The collection, which includes meditations on tennis champion Serena Williams' body, the abandonment of poor communities during Hurricane Katrina and the high-profile deaths of innocent black men, has a built-in theatrical dimension with its chorus of anecdotal voices and its inclusion of what are called "scripts for Situation videos." Staging the book, as the Fountain Theatre has done, seems a completely natural thing to...

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