TIME

As America approaches raw truths about race, Claudia Rankine is ready to guide us

THE AUTHOR AND POET CLAUDIA RANKINE witnessed the collective muted response after James Byrd Jr. was dragged to death along an asphalt road in Texas in 1998. She watched widespread resistance rise against the nascent Black Lives Matter movement in 2013 and 2014 following the murder of Trayvon Martin. Whenever she wrote books or essays about white privilege or racism, she expected to receive waves of denial or personal attacks, because she knew how white people deny white privilege and Black death.

So she was surprised when in late May, white people stormed the streets alongside people of color across the world to protest racial violence and injustice following the murder of George Floyd. “That was the most hope I’ve felt in

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