A review by rachelemm
Just Us: An American Conversation, by Claudia Rankine


I previously read and loved Citizen and Don't Let Me Be Lonely by Claudia Rankine so was very excited to read Just Us by the same author. Just Us feels much more personal and intimate than Rankine's previous books did. She brings us along as she carries out conversations with friends, colleagues and strangers about race in America. She confronts white people with their privilege and is at times disappointed by the responses she receives but always remains open. Ultimately, I think that is what this book invites its readers to do. Rankine is asking us to start conversations about race with people in our lives and see where it takes us. In doing so, we may learn something new, we may realise how far we have to go but we will at the very least be further ahead in the work of becoming an anti-racist world than if we remain silent.
I will add that if you are interested in this book, I would strongly recommend you get it in physical form. The book uses mixed media i.e. images, quotes, excerpts, tweets, emails etc. and I found that reading this on my Kindle I missed some of the power of having the images alongside the text as a direct comparison.
In the physical version, my understanding is the text appears on one side of the book with the images on the other side and that with each page turn you see the images in direct conversation with the text. I feel that not consuming the book in this format lessened my reading experience slightly so I will definitely be getting a physical copy of this so I can revisit this work and see if reading it in this format enriches my experience in any way.