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UChicago Library Diverse Books & Open Conversations

Just Us : An American Conversation

Just Us: An American Conversation, by Claudia Rankine, is a combination of essays, poetry, and images, forming a complex web of narrative art. Rankine’s thoughtful and expressive work creates a space for discussions of race in the United States.

The publisher’s website describes it as a “…brilliant assembly of essays, poems, documents, and images [which] disrupts the false comfort of our culture’s liminal and private spaces—the airport, the theater, the dinner party, the voting booth—where neutrality and politeness deflect true engagement in our shared problems. Rankine makes unprecedented art out of the actual voices and rebuttals of others: white men responding to, and with, their White male privilege; a friend clarifying her unexpected behavior at a play; and women on the street expressing the political currency of dyeing their hair blond, all running alongside fact-checked notes and commentary that complement Rankine’s own text, complicating notions of authority and who gets the last word. Funny, vulnerable, and prescient, Just Us is Rankine’s most intimate and urgent book, a crucial call to challenge our vexed reality.”

Rankine’s lectures on campus as part of the Berlin Family Lectures, will be made public in mid-May on the Berlin Family Lectures webpage and on the Division of the Humanities YouTube channel.