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February 28 Named “Claudia Rankine Day” by Boston Mayor

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh is proclaiming Wednesday, February 28, “Claudia Rankine Day” in the the City of Boston.

Boston Poet Laureate and Emerson alumna Danielle Legros Georges ’86 will present Rankine with the proclamation at a reception following Wednesday night’s performance of Rankine’s new play, The White Card, presented by ArtsEmerson at the Paramount’s Robert J. Orchard Stage through April 1.

The White Card, produced by Harvard University’s American Repertory Theater and directed by A.R.T. Artistic Director Diane Paulus, was commissioned by ArtsEmerson. Originally envisioned as a stage adaptation of Rankine’s New York Times bestselling book, Citizen: An American Lyric, The White Card, like Citizen, addresses issues of race, privilege, whiteness, and equity in America.

“At ArtsEmerson, we believe that the arts have a central role to play in transforming the city’s reputation and reality around race,” ArtsEmerson Artistic Director David Dower said in a statement announcing the opening of the play. “[C]laudia’s insights on race, and on whiteness in particular, were both electrifying and edifying in support of our commitment to advance racial equity in our city.”

The White Card centers around a dinner party thrown by an influential white Manhattan couple who are looking to purchase work from an up-and-coming black artist. Their conversation raises questions about what, and who, is actually on display.

Rankine, author of five collections of poetry, including Citizen, two plays, and numerous video collaborations, also was Fresh Sound artist-in-residence at ArtsEmerson during Spring 2017, and received an honorary doctorate from Emerson in May 2017.

For more information about The White Card, or to purchase tickets, visit

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