Historical Injustice In Citizen: An American Lyric

This timeline was created by Anastazia Fogle, Sharmin Akther, Jasmina Hamza, and Frankie Rodriguez based on Claudia Rankine's Citizen.

​Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine, keeps the readers focus on micro aggressions. Claudia Rankine’s book describes rising racial aggressions throughout the twenty-first centuries daily life and media encounters. The purpose of our project is to inform viewers about the injustice and wrongdoings that is still taking place in the twenty-first century against the African American people. We are trying to grab anyone’s attention that is interested in learning and finding out what is still happening out there in the world, today. We have used situations from Rankine’s book in our project and went into depth with them so that our viewers would get a better understanding about how cruel these encounters with African Americans really are.

1930-08-30 18:06:52

Public Lynching

This picture is called "Public Lynching" by Hulton Archive. The original image was altered with the permission of John Lucas. A quote that relates to this is on pages 89 and 90. "Those years of and before me and my brothers, the years of passage, plantation, migration, of Jim Crow segregation, of poverty, inner cities, profiling, of one in three, two jobs...accumulate into the hours inside our lives where we are all caught hanging, the rope inside us, the tree inside us and when we open our mouth to speak." (Rankine 89,90) The image is found on page 91. It is a picture of white men and women gathered together. The environment plays a role in this gathering. People are affected by whats going on in their neighborhoods. Its a fact that you and your environment are related. Someone can meet another person and the rest is up to the community and how you react to it. This is how crime can be avoided. The news that goes around is spread and you have to deal with it someway, or somehow. This is related to Mark Duggan in the way that an incident occurred but there was no concrete evidence.

1991-03-03 06:24:46

The Beating Of Rodney King

On March 3, 1991 the beating of a black male named Rodney King was caught on video and it impacted the black community immensely. In Claudia Rankine's, Citizen: An American Lyric, she included an image called "Little Girl" and it invokes similar emotions after learning about the beating of Rodney King.

1996-01-01 18:06:52

Male II & I

These images are called "Male II & I" by John Lucas. They are found on pages 96 and 97. They are white and black men in the image. In particular, there is a picture of a young black male that fits into three cubicles. This opens up a relation with freedom. There are some images that expand into other cubicles. In my words, freedom is expanding out by coming out of the cubicles. Many people don't have the privilege to feel this sense of freedom. Some people have to see worst circumstances everyday. This relates to Jena Six where the young men were put into a position that made the black community react. It relates to the picture because there is a person on the image that has his face down while the head is being held on by his face. That type of body language can be interpreted as something being wrong. Dr.Fox, Ann. "Visualization of Black Masculanity in Citizen". http://litanalysis.suzannechurchill.com/s16/2016/04/28/visualization-of-black-masculinity-in-citizen/. Magazine ProTheme on Genesis Framework. 28/4/2016 Web. 17/May/2017

2000-01-01 18:06:52


This is a image by Glenn Ligon called Untitled.

2005-08-29 18:06:52

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina was a storm that hit the Gulf Coast of the United States. It caused more than $100 billion in damages. Many people were affected by this storm. People questioned the Politicians running our government, especially our former President George W. Bush. The people living in those areas suffered a lot. There was people from other states that did not like the situation and statements were made about President Bush. Races, discrimination, segregation were being scrutinized by all of the citizen in the United States. Comments were being made about white people. The intentions of the President towards the American people was seen in this reaction. The way in which the storm affected the people was devastating because President George W. Bush didn't react immediately. Lives were lost which made an impact on those families. Homes were destroyed and people had no where to live, no where to go. People suffered from hunger. The black community wanted to see something quicker but there was no sight of this for too long. The African Americans suffered, many were hurt, and it is still a tragedy.

2006-07-09 18:06:52

Zidane's Head-butt

The 2006 World Cup finale was France vs Italy. France’s captain Zinadine Zidane head-butted someone from the opposite team. Materazzi who was a player from the Italian team said something to Zidane who was given a red card, thus being disqualified during the final match.

2006-12-04 18:06:52

Jena Six

In August, 2006, a black student in Louisiana asked if he could sit under a tree on campus, or if it was reserved for whites. The next day three nooses hung from the tree. That was the reason that five teenagers were charged with attempted murder. "Race, Violence. . . Justice? Looking Back At Jena 6".

2007-04-04 18:06:52

Don Imus And The Rutgers Women's Basketball Team

The Rutgers Women’s Basketball team, consisted a majority of black women, were called a racial slur from a radio broadcast host. Don Imus, from NBC, when describing the team, Don called them “nappy headed hoes”.

2008-01-01 18:06:52

Little Girl

This image is called Little Girl by Kate Clark. In Citizen, Rankine includes this image after she dicusses a lyric about someone going to see "the new therapist who specializes in trauma counseling" (18). The therapist notices the person through her window and yells "get away from my house! What are you doing in my yard!" (18). The therapist is being compared to a "wounded doberman pinscher or a German shepherd who has gained the power of speech" (Rankine 18). After the therapist yelling, this person finally get's the chance to let her know that they are here because they have an appointment with her. The therapist was shocked and then apologizes for saying the harmful judgements.

2008-01-01 18:06:52


This image is called Soundsuits by Nick Cave.

2008-01-01 18:06:52

Jim Crow

This image is called "Jim Crow" by Michael David Murphy. (2007)

2009-01-01 18:06:52

Untitled: Four Etching

This image is called Untitled: Four Etchings, 1992" by Glenn Ligon. Hurricane Katrina was one of the worst storms that happened to America. People were put in desperate conditions, people died, and some were greatly injured or hurt. The image when visioned in an art gallery and other people viewing this, creates an atmosphere where the worst is put into a couple of words. Lives of many blacks are influenced by words like color and always. History of African Americans is thrown in a sheet of paper. There are ideas and fascination of struggles that the black community is affected by. For example, the injustices of race, and discrimination separate people. The storm of Hurricane Katrina was something that could have been reacted in a better way. It was a devastating tragedy what happened in New Orleans, Louisiana. "At MoMA, Glenn Ligon Artfully Articulates Powerful Words". http://www.artsobserver.com/2012/07/20/at-moma-glenn-ligon-artfully-articulates-powerful-words/. Arts Observer. 20 July 2012. Web 17 May 2017

2009-08-31 00:00:00

2009 Women's US Open Semifinal

Serena Williams was very angry when the open line judge called out that Serena stood on the line when she served the second ball.

2011-06-26 00:00:00

James Craig Anderson Death

On June 26, 2011, a 49-year-old African American man named James Craig Anderson was brutally beaten and murdered by a group of white teenagers in Jackson, Mississippi.

2011-08-04 18:06:52

Mark Duggan

Mark Duggan was a 29 year old male that lived in Ferry Lane, Tottenham, United Kingdom. He was shot on August 4, 2011. Mark Duggan was killed by officers that dealt with gun crime in African and Carribbean communities.

2012-01-23 18:06:52

Uncertain, Yet Reserved

This image is called Uncertain, yet Reserved by Toyin Odutola. Claudia Rankine places this image on page 87, right before dicussing Trayvon Martin.

2012-02-26 00:00:00

The Death Of Trayvon Martin

The untimely death of a black teen on February 26, 2012 struck the lives of many. In Citizen: An American Lyric, Rankine includes a image called "Uncertain, Yet Reserved on page 87. While viewing the image, there is a parallel between the African American boy to the life and tragic death of Trayvon Martin.

2012-12-12 00:00:00

Serena Williams Impersonation

On December 12, 2012, Caroline Wozniacki, the former number 1 player, had an exhibition match against Maria Sharapova in Brazil.

2013-07-13 18:06:52

The Verdict: Death Of Trayvon Martin

On July 13, 2013, the world finds out the verdict of the death of Trayvon Martin.

2014-07-17 18:06:52

Eric Garner "I CAN"T BREATHE"

“I can't breathe”. Those were Eric Garner’s last words before the police killed him by chokehold.

2014-10-04 18:06:52

Claudia Rankine's Endings

Turn to pages 134-135, what do you see?

2017-03-26 18:06:52

How Queens College Students Reacted to Citizen: An American Lyric 1

From our Arts of Dissent class at Queens College, these are some of our classmates reactions and comments about Citizen:An American Lyric.

2017-03-29 18:06:52

How Queens College Students Reacted to Citizen: An American Lyric 2

From our Arts of Dissent class at Queens College, these are some of our classmates reactions and comments about Citizen:An American Lyric.

2017-03-30 00:00:00

How Queens College Students Reacted to Citizen: An American Lyric 4

From our Arts of Dissent class at Queens College, these are some of our classmates reactions and comments about Citizen:An American Lyric.

2017-04-05 18:06:52

How Queens College Students Reacted to Citizen: An American Lyric 3

From our Arts of Dissent class at Queens College, these are some of our classmates reactions and comments about Citizen:An American Lyric.

Historical Injustice In Citizen: An American Lyric

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