In a streamed event, one of America’s leading writers discusses her new book, Just Us, which urges us to breach the silence that surrounds whiteness.

At home, on social media and in government, the world around us is split by aggression and defensiveness.

Claudia Rankine asks how we can restore a sense of shared humanity and light a path beyond the culture war, in conversation with author, broadcaster and journalist Gary Younge.

At the heart of Just Us is an exploration of real encounters between friends and strangers that expose the realities of whiteness and white supremacy.

Through these intimate exchanges, Rankine questions the false comfort of private life and invites us to discover what it takes to stay in the room together.

Claudia Rankine is the author of five books, including Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric and the bestselling Citizen: An American Lyric.

A chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, she is the winner of many prizes including the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry and a 2016 MacArthur Fellowship.

She is an adjunct professor of English and African-American Studies at Yale University.

Gary Younge is an author and broadcaster, and professor of sociology at the University of Manchester. He has written five books, the most recent of which, Another Day in the Death of America, won the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize from Columbia Journalism School and Nieman Foundation.

Copies of Claudia Rankine’s new book, Just Us, are available for £25 when you buy a ticket to watch the talk. 

This event is a partnership between Southbank Centre and Penguin Live. 

Get your tickets by clicking here. 

  • Just Us

  • From award-winning writer Claudia Rankine, the stunning follow-up to Citizen and Don't Let Me Be Lonely

    'Audacious, revelatory, devastating' Robin DiAngelo

    At home and in government, contemporary America finds itself riven by a culture war in which aggression and defensiveness alike are on the rise. It is not alone. In such partisan conditions, how can humans best approach one another across our differences?

    Taking the study of whiteness and white supremacy as a guiding light, Claudia Rankine explores a series of real encounters with friends and strangers - each disrupting the false comfort of spaces where our public and private lives intersect, like the airport, the theatre, the dinner party and the voting booth - and urges us to enter into the conversations which could offer the only humane pathways through this moment of division.

    Just Us is an invitation to discover what it takes to stay in the room together, and to breach the silence, guilt and violence that surround whiteness. Brilliantly arranging essays, images and poems along with the voices and rebuttals of others, it counterpoints Rankine's own text with facing-page notes and commentary, and closes with a bravura study of women confronting the political and cultural implications of dyeing their hair blonde.

    Wry, vulnerable and prescient, this is Rankine's most intimate work, less interested in being right than in being true, and being together.

  • Buy the book

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