“I think for black people, the history remains present because it’s repeating itself in slightly different ways over and over and over again. We don’t have the benefit of walking away. The devastation is constantly being put in front of us. So that ‘facts is dreams’ is not something we can partake in. If anything, the dreams are deferred, as Langston Hughes told us.”
– Claudia Rankine, episode 193 on Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso
The illustrious author, poet, and playwright, Claudia Rankine, joins us with the release of her latest book, Just Us: An American Conversation. We discuss the conversations (8:19) and relationships (28:23) that comprise Just Us, the problem with color-blindness (10:30), a personal shift in perspective following her cancer diagnosis (19:53), how history remains present for black people (31:00), and why we must repeatedly unpack what privilege looks and sounds like in this country (43:46). To close, Claudia reads a timely and moving excerpt from Just Us (57:13).
- Just Us is out now. Purchase it here.
- Learn more about Claudia Rankine and her career on her personal website.
- Read Lauren Berlant’s Cruel Optimism & James Baldwin’s “White Man’s Guilt” from his Collected Essays.
- Register to vote.
- Check your voter registration status.
Illustrations by: Krishna Shenoi.
Music by: Dylan Peck