About Citizen Book

From Citizen

1. Citizen itself explores in a variety of ways how and why language is hurtful. Discuss one of the following passages and/or images in which the work explores the causes and effects of hurtful language: pp. 18-19; pp. 41-42; p. 59-62; pp. 74- 75, pp. 77-79. What kind of language causes pain in each instance? What kind of pain is felt as a result? Is the pain emotional? Physical? Both? How does the body react to hurtful language?

2. Discuss “Stop-and-Frisk” from 105-109 and describe why Rankine repeats the lines “And you are not the guy and you still fit the description because there is only one guy who is always the guy fitting the description”.

3. Look at the image on page 91. What is missing from the original image (you can find it here (Links to an external site.))? Why do you think Rankine changed the image for her book? What does she want the reader to focus on?

4. Analyze pages 134 and 135. Why are the pages next to each other? Who are the names listed on pages 134? What does the quote on page 135 mean? 

5. What do you think of the book so far?

From “Policing the Police,”

1. How does the documentary relate to Citizen? How does policing relate to citizenship?

2.  What do you think about the police union leader’s explanation about police use of force (at around 35 minutes)?

3. Why do you think Cobb wanted to look at the police force of Newark? Do you think any of the reforms or community interventions seem effective?

4. Why do you think the Department of Justice had different policies about police oversight under Obama and Trump?

5. What is your overall impression of the documentary? 

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Alex Otieno

Author Since: January 17, 2021