On Friday, February 2nd, the students of The Hudson School had the opportunity to participate in a series of activities related to Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine.
Hudson’s English department organized the first annual “Beyond the Book” day, this year devoting a range of interactive activities to complement Rankine’s thought-provoking collection of prose poetry, essays and images. The collection reflects on the issues of race and racism in the United States and abroad, and shared experiences of being a black woman in America.
There were four sessions throughout the day designed to increase students’ understanding of topics covered in the book from brainstorming slogans for social justice, writing prose poetry, to creating posters about students’ visions of America. As a finale, students gathered to hear poetry from guest poets Rich Villar and Crystal Valentine, as well as two Hudson seniors.
After the reading, Mr. Villar and Ms. Valentine participated in a question and answer session with students. At the end of the day, both middle school and high school students of The Hudson School were able to connect better with Rankine’s work by engaging in meaningful discussions, art projects, and poetry readings. Overall, it was a successful and eye-opening exploration of what it means to live in America today and be a citizen of the world.