What We're Reading: July 2019
As members of an organization that believes in the power of conversation to promote systemic change, the team here at The Lark often circulates, among ourselves, anecdotes and emails about materials we've read lately that have moved us. In accordance with our commitment to the amplification of necessary voices that reflect the world we live in, this monthly post compiles some of the media we have been tuned in to, to share with our wider community. We know these are only a sampling of all the insightful work out there, so if we missed anything that had an impact on you this month, we encourage you to share in the comments section!
"My name is Michael Jackson. That means my entire life has been overshadowed by the notoriety and infamy of a now-dead pop star. When I’m meeting someone for the first time, my uniquely famous name strips me of an identity that is solely my own."
Michael R. Jackson's program note for his new musical about a young, gay, black man trying to write a musical about a young, gay, black man.
"I’ve heard ageist speculation that nonbinary gender identity is a fad of “the young.” Nah, it’s been going on for a long time, and now there’s a more robust and accessible vocabulary to address it."
Theatermaker Kate Bornstein's piece from The New York Times series "Reflections on Life After Stonewall."
This Tweet from Claudia Alick
Black Women, Let Your Anger Out by Joshunda Sanders
"We never want to give white people—who already view us as immune to pain, as consistently and forever unequal—a reason to think we are irrationally upset, which is how anger voiced from a Black woman is usually construed. But the catch is that never expressing your emotions makes people believe you don’t have them or your feelings don’t matter. And it allows deeply rooted biases about race and gender to persist."
From In These Times, a piece on repression inspired in part by Audre Lorde's 1981 keynote at the National Women’s Studies Association conference, “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism".
"The question of how to stage gendered violence ethically and responsibly is not new, but it is newly urgent as we approach the third decade of the twenty-first century. The contributions to this series focus on solutions and ways forward as much as critiques of existing practice, creating a kind of toolkit for creatives and critics alike to approach the genuinely difficult questions raised by this issue."
Curated by Nora J. Williams, this series covers topics from staging sexual assault, sensationalizing violence, takes on the famous nunnery scene from Hamlet, and more. (Content Warning: From HowlRound - All of the pieces discuss representations of trauma, including rape, sexual assault, and forcible feeding. While the contributors have endeavoured to reflect these experiences responsibly, we acknowledge that the content may still be triggering or upsetting.)