• My dream for America is that one day all people, regardless of gender, race, sexuality, etc., will be treated with the same respect. Being that both my brother and sister identify themselves as homosexuals, it is […]

  • What is your dream in America:
    For the African Diaspora in America to have unity and for us to get  the reparations owed to us from our ancestors enslavement. For all people regardless of nationality skin […]

  • When you ask me about the American Dream, this is really the first quote that comes to mind. It’s from the late great comedian, George Carlin, and it underscores the futility of the American Dream. To me, the […]

  • Not everyone in America has the means to build a successful life. Many minority groups are disadvantaged by the very institutions that are meant to assist and protect them and our current White House […]

  • My personal dream for America would to create equality amongst all people regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. I believe equality and kindness are the most important aspects of creating a […]

  • What first caught my attention is the recipe posted on pg. 81. It is a recipe for roast yams and palm oil. It contains five ingredients and only requires four steps. In my pursuit of more knowledge of the food of […]

    • As a son of hispanic parents, there are foods that I eat that are part of my culture. I know its part of my culture because when I take a flight to Dominican Republic, I am proud of the food I am eating because I am learning the lifestyle of the place. I find it enlightening that I could relate to people from another country. The foods that relate to us are rice, beans, and meat. When I take a trip to Dominican Republic, that food is eaten around noon time. I eat that for dinner here in New York. So it gives me a sense of tradition in the family. Tradition can help me build more as a person and it gives me background information of where I come from also building my identity.
      Chris Abani’s includes recipe of all chapters and I think he does this to show how food is an important tool to relate to your roots. It adds culture to different scenes and makes readers have a better understanding of what Lagos represents to many. Respect is built by each chapter that includes these recipes. In other words, it gives us insight on a different culture. We can learn more when we put our culture’s food into our traditions. By adding a different culture’s food into each chapter, the reader gets a closer look into a different country’s lifestyle.

    • Dana replied 1 year ago

      Being apart of the Caribbean, there are many foods that I have grown up with that help shape who I am. For example, my ancestors are from India, so a lot of the Indians in Guyana eat curry. I think that the constant repetition of the ingredients in this book shows a sense of pride for Nigeria.

      The author wants readers to be able to relate to and understand the culture. Although the character in the book is trying to escape the slums of his country, he still stops to think about all the positive things about his culture that he is proud of. Something as simple as a recipe means a lot to him, and puts things into perspective.

    • Hey Breana! I really enjoyed reading your post! I belive food pertaining to one’s culture is soething special because it is part of your own idenity. Growing up Asian and Jewish, my family prepared many traditional meals. Being Jewish on my mother’s side her and my grandmother would always make the best Latkas and perogan-both are potatoe based dishes that were always served during Hanukah or any kind of family gathering. These foods represented our religion as well as our culture and identity. Preparing these dishes will always have a special place in my heart because I know they have been passed on from generation to generation. You say discussing how food pertains to culture, “This mirrors the struggle many people from different lands face today when it comes to Western culture. Assimilation vs. sticking to your roots” which I agree with as well, espeically when it comes to the novel. Certain fodds/dishes in cultures reflect how that culture canbe percived perhaps because of the type of people or by what kind of resources are there. I Also I think Abani included recipies in the beginning of the chapter because he wanted to show how not all tradition and culture has been lost. While Elvis does struggle between western culture and his own, it is important to remain connected to one’s heritage because without it, who are you as a person? I belive tradition is something extremely importnant when identifying yourself because it is something that is uniue and contributes to your own personal narrative.

  • pg. 89-90

    Assumptions abound. Rankine’s Citizen tackles situations charged with racial prejudice. The experiences she recounts are those of her friends and peers. There are experiences that seem like a slight […]

    • Hey Breanna, i liked your blog and the evidence that you gave from chapter IV shows us readers your argument.
      To answer your questions, yes, i do believe Rankine did a great job with showing and giving us examples of racism that is experienced by certain individuals. The example that you gave with the man that is married to not just a beautiful woman, but she is black, is a great example. What does her skin color have to do with it? Why are you commenting on your wife’s skin color and the ladies skin color at the bar? Like you said in your blog post, he went past all the parts within the female, like her personality, and just related the two females because they are both black.
      Also with the Trayvon Martin case, Rankine gives us evidence showing how she believes this was a racist act and how this certain individual was murdered for no other reason, but, that he was black.
      I’ve honestly heard many strangers say rude things about black people randomly, just all around. Me, being the way i am, i hate it and i do get annoyed. I dont get annoyed just because of people making fun of blacks or putting a certain name on them, i also get annoyed because it came to a point where racism has become so bad that innocent people are getting killed. It is ridiculously unfair and unequal. Who are white people to judge?
      Racism is something that, i feel like, will be around forever, sadly. It’s been so long since slavery has ended, but some way and some how they are still being seen as “slaves”. I am just very annoyed about it and i hope one day it comes to an end.
      Good Job! 🙂

    • The death of Trayvon Martin is something I remember seeing in the news. It was a big. Many people wanted answers as to why this happened to him. In Citizens, tragedy is clearly displayed. It is sad. I could imagine a person with such strong sense of hopelessness and in silence. The pain is unbelievable but I still have to pay respect because as I know this happened, I can’t put myself in those shoes. Rankine paints a picture but its still a question to me as what the depth of that is. I don’t know what it is to lose a brother. This was a violent act and it is an example of racism. Rankine did a good job painting that picture. Its difficult to answer what the greater societal implication is and that could be annoying. One person might think a way while the other persons’ answer to racism is why does he have to live with your form or talk your way. This is a question to many and for me, I think if you let an issue affect you, you should rise from the occasion and find a resolution that benefits you and your family. I don’t pay much attention that doesn’t affect me in a positive way because that’s all negative. How does a certain video or book help me in the long run? That’s my perspective. I probably did experience racism but its a sensitive subject and I try to work my way around it until I get to something I can live with when confronted with issues of that sort. The death Of Trayvon Martin was something I saw on the news and saw a lot of people talking about why this happened to this child. It was a tragedy. Citizens focuses on that and it raised questions like who feels a certain way and is there any outcome to such tragedies. Racism is a term used loosely but it is a strong issue that many are affected by it. My answer to reduce racism issues is to focus on yourself and find an area in which you feel comfortable. It is a large issue but it doesn’t mean we can’t work around it.

    • This was a difficult section for me to understand so thanks for tackling it. Part of the reason this section was difficult to understand is because I am not a part of the community she is talking about. Trayvon Martain’s death didn’t affect me and how I perceived racism since it just reaffirmed how I felt about racism in America. I haven’t really dealt with any racist remarks that I can think of from the top of my head. I only dealt with racist remarks during the period of 9/11 and after that time. What I do remember from this event was this trend going around on social media where it was like, “If I was on the media what picture would they use?” and people would post these photos of them at their worst since the media used the worst photos of Martain to display him as a sort of villain rather than a victim. Things like this make it clear that we have a long way to go.

    • Hey Breana!

      I think your blog post was really interesting. I really liked when you used the dialogue on page 78 saying “You wait at the bar If the restaurant fit a friend, and a man, wanting to naje conversation, nursing something, takes out his phone to show you a picture of his wife. You say, bridge that she is, that she is beautiful. She is, he says, beautiful and black, like you.” That like struck me from the moment I read it because I wasn’t sure if he meant is as a compliment, insult, or both. I heard people say things to black girls like “you’re pretty….for a black girl”. I always hate when people say things like that because it’s way more of an insult than a compliment. Saying someone is good lookin despite having dark skin is extremely rude, yet a lot of people in society do that. We’re even guilty of doing it without realizing. Everyone knows that joke that guys always make about “like skin girls never text back”. It’s funny, but when you stop to really think about what they’re saying, they’re really implying that light skin girls never text them back because they’re too beautiful to even notice your existence, whereas dark skin girls are ugly, so they’ll always text you back because they’ll take whatever they can get. That quote reminded me a lot of that term because it’s like an underhand compliment.

      To answer your question, yes, I do think Rankine does a good job at showcasing racism. It focuses more on those silent scenarios that people look past without even realizing what happened.

      As far as Trayvon Martin, his death hasn’t personally affected me, only because I can’t relate to exactly what he was going through. However, I am really upset at the fact that him, along with many others have to innocently die because of people’s outrageous outbursts of racism. It’s extremely upsetting, and I really hope in the future we can move past this. It’s ridiculous at this point to keep carrying on like this. It’s time to learn about to become more human, and look past the color of someone’s skin.

    • Rankine does a good job in highlighting different situations in which racism could be experienced. By using multiple types of scenarios, she allows her audience to notice racism in places where you would never think to look. With that being said, in this particular scenario of the man and the woman, I’d be open to giving him the benefit of doubt that he wasn’t thinking of the consequences and the weight of the comment he has made. However this is a great opportunity to see the ignorance that we as a society hold towards one another as individuals. We do not try to dig beneath the surface and we do not think just how much our words can effect someone else. To him it was just a phrase thrown out without thought, to her it is something that she will carry around and possibly linger around for a long time. These kinds of scenarios present an opportunity to rethink our behavior with one another and possibly teach us consideration to who we are as individuals as opposed to allowing ignorance to prevail.

    • Hi Breana! I reallyenjoyed reading your blog post! I think the example you gave of the man complimenting the woman about how beautiful she is but also commenting on her race is a great example of racsim today. Many people cannot seem to look past race. Even when describing beauty, they feel adding a comment about race will somehow reinforce the idea of beauty when in fact, it does not. Adding a comment about about someone’s race after complimenting them is a form of racism. What does their skin color have anything to do with someone’s beauty? When someone comments on someone else’s race, I cannot help but think that is all they see because why make the comment in the first place. The man is overlooking all the other qualities and traits this woman may have. He only sees the color of her skin which is the only thing that stands out to him and therfore he must make a comment on it. I love when you say, “He denies her human experience and strips her of all her human characteristics except for her race.” This, got me really angry because what the man is doing is dehumanizing her. He truly is stripping her of all her human characteristics and the human experience because he is so focused on her skin color. What happened to personality that makes up a human being. Soley focusing on race when describing someone to me, is considred racist. If someone cannot look beyond the appearance of a human being then you truly are dehumanizing them and cannot look at them from the inside. It is sad that racism still exisits inthis country today and how many cannot look past skin color when describing or interacting with them. Skin is just a color and does not define a person about who they are as human beings.

    • I find that Rankine does an excellent job highlighting racism in Citizens. Simply executing various individuals in her text, Rankine expresses the voices off the unheard, the fragile and the weak.
      I have my share of racism in my life. I think the way I have dealt with it would be, by simply walking away from the situation. I can’t say that I’ve put much thought into how greatly racism might be implicated in our society, It might be conformist idea but I believe our society will always be tainted by some form of prejudice. Perhaps if we live in a colorless society or if the inhabitants of this world were color-blind, perhaps there be no racism.
      In all honesty the death of Trevon Martin had no impact on my life. when the news broke out I felt sad however, when I perceive racism and I look into it I strongly believe that everyone carries some form of prejudice-ness. I can’t help to think how many times we as humans like to blame others for our problems whether white, black, brown or yellow. So to say that this impacts me, I would say no. In truth I have felt racism from different shades of color and although it exist I think about my friends, the friends I have who don’t look like me and I think through all this mess we can all still manage to be friends.

  • Hey everyone, I’m Breana Narine but you can call me Bre. My major is in English 7-12 which means that I intend to be a high school English teacher. I decided to go into this major because I enjoy helping another […]

    • Hey Bre!

      Like you, I would like to teach English for 7-12. I feel as though students at this stage in life are often forgotten about. This is where they start to find who they are and need guidance in the right direction.

      I have never heard B.Y.O.B. until your post and it reminded me of Cause of Death by Immortal Technique ( ). Immortal Technique is a rapper and activist whose lyrics speak on controversial issues.