The American imagination has never been able to fully recover from its white-supremacist beginnings. Consequently, our laws and attitudes have been straining against the devaluation of the black body. Despite good intentions, the associations of blackness with inarticulate, bestial criminality persist beneath the appearance of white civility. This assumption both frames and determines our individual interactions and experiences as citizens.
In the wake of the recent murders in Charleston, Claudia Rankine limns the importance of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the gravity of the racial violence we find ourselves confronting in the New York Times Magazine.