Aggression and defensiveness alike are on the rise. MacArthur Fellow and Yale Professor Claudia Rankine asks: how can we best approach one another across our differences?
The first and only poet to write a New York Times bestseller, the winner of every significant literary prize in the United States, and recipient of a MacArthur “genius grant”, Jamaican-born Claudia Rankine is an icon of contemporary American letters.
In this conversation, she will explore her own prejudices and those of others, and celebrate vulnerability, openness and the willingness to be wrong.
Taking the study of whiteness and white supremacy as her guiding light, Claudia will consider a series of real encounters with friends and strangers – each disrupting the false comfort of spaces where our public and private lives intersect, like the airport, the theatre, the dinner party and the voting booth.
It’s an urgent call to enter into conversations which could offer humane pathways through this moment of division.
Praise for Claudia Rankine’s Just Us – An American Conversation:
“Claudia Rankine marshalls the full range of her substantial talents – from poetry to essay – to explore how racism is lived, privilege is expressed and engagement might be possible. Personal, political, interrogative and, most all, impressive” — Gary Younge
“This brilliant and multi-layered work is a call, a bid, an insistent, rightly impatient demand for a public conversation on whiteness . . . bold and vital” — Judith Butler
“In my work, well-meaning white people consistently ask me how to recognize racism. Yet we might ask, “How have we managed not to know?” The information is everywhere, if we care to listen . . . With clarity and grace, Claudia Rankine delivers a gut punch to white denial.
Just Us is stunning work – audacious, revelatory, devastating” — Robin DiAngelo
“In Just Us, Claudia Rankine continues her remarkable and brilliant interrogation of the language, culture, and history that have shaped America, forging through poems, essays, and documents a literary archive that is utterly original and desperately needed” — Dinaw Mengestu
“Fiercely intimate, rigorous . . . [Just Us] lets all of us in on the conversations – with others and the self – that are necessary for survival” — Nuar Alsadir
The event takes place at 6:30pm GMT and includes access to a replay video available 48 hours after the event to enjoy forever with no time limit.