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Wednesday, April 26 • 10:15am - 10:35am
Ta-Nehisi Coates And Claudia Rankine: See Through Me The American Dream

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The concept of the American Dream has been the driving force for defining what it means to be a citizen of the United States. While the American Dream can be viewed as the core of the American identity, not all can find themselves represented within the dream. Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me) and Claudia Rankine (Citizen: An American Lyric) each address this issue in their writing, working to show white audiences that the African American experience does not reflect an identification with the American Dream. Using criticism that address the literary techniques that each author employs, I will argue that Coates and Rankine both portray how the readers view and experience African American identity and demonstrate how the prejudices each author explores become relevant to the reader. Pairing these observations of the literary techniques with support that demonstrates how the American Dream influences the identity of the US citizen will then clarify the disparities the authors are trying to stress. Understanding the disparities of African American experiences counters the common understanding of the American Dream, causing the reader to question whether or not the American Dream is truly achievable for all.


Wednesday April 26, 2017 10:15am - 10:35am
232 Karpen Hall