Just Us: An American Conversation

Just Us: An American Conversation

Claudia Rankine's Citizen changed the conversation--Just Us urges all of us into it

As everyday white supremacy becomes increasingly vocalized with no clear answers at hand, how best might we approach one another? Claudia Rankine, without telling us what to do, urges us to begin the discussions that might open pathways through this divisive and stuck moment in American history.

Just Us is an invitation to discover what it takes to stay in the room together, even and especially in breaching the silence, guilt, and violence that follow direct addresses of whiteness. Rankine's questions disrupt 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 live on the surface of differing commitments, beliefs, and prejudices as our public and private lives intersect.

This brilliant arrangement of essays, poems, and images includes the voices and rebuttals of others: white men in first class responding to, and with, their white male privilege; a friend's explanation of her infuriating behavior at a play; and women confronting the political currency of dying their hair blond, all running alongside fact-checked notes and commentary that complements Rankine's own text, complicating notions of authority and who gets the last word.

Sometimes wry, often vulnerable, and always prescient, Just Us is Rankine's most intimate work, less interested in being right than in being true, being together.

Title:Just Us: An American Conversation
ISBN:9781644450215
Format Type:

    Just Us: An American Conversation Reviews

  • Roxane

    Interesting book. Different in tone from her previous work but also not. She has conversations with quite people about racism with a range of results. ...

  • Diane S ?

    Throughout this year I've read or listened to many different books on race, relationship, history, biases but this book had a bigger impact on me than all those others. The inside cover of the book ja...

  • Jenna

    Brilliant and breathtaking.  Claudia Rankine has earned her place on my favourite authors list. This book is powerful and poetic and intelligent and raw. How I loved it! Just Us: An American Conversa...

  • Michael

    read and read again - Rankine’s one of the best writers working today...

  • Anada Werner

    Resisting the urge to spend my entire savings purchasing a copy of this book to hand to every man, woman, non-binary persons, and child I encounter in the street. What a rush! I laughed, I sighed, and...

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)

    "Among white people, black people are allowed to talk about their precarious lives, but they are not allowed to implicate the present company...to create discomfort by pointing out the facts is seen a...

  • Kathleen

    “If you’re looking for justice, that’s just what you’ll find—just us.”—Richard PryorRankine continues the conversation about racism and white privilege that she began with her book, Citi...

  • Lisa

    Rankine reflects upon "whiteness in America" with intellectual rigor, a poetic sensibility and warmth and honesty. I felt like a trusted friend invited by Rankine to join her in conversation. More tha...

  • Lou

    Claudia Rankine returns with Just Us - which urges us all to begin dialogue with one another to explore the issues of white supremacy, race and white privilege. As everyday white supremacy becomes inc...

  • Ken

    This is one heavy book, both literally and figuratively. Literally, the hardcover is filled with heavier pages that feel like they have the same kind of acid-free coating you see in glossy brochures. ...