What We're Reading: May 2021
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!
"This question, “Who is us, what is us?” — that question popped up for me halfway through writing this book. And then finally, I realized I guess I’m trying to answer that question myself. Who is us? What is us? And in thinking about that, I’m thinking, is there an Asian-American consciousness?"
By Nina Berman
"When cultural institutions think about how to hire and retain Black and POC workers, paying a wage that doesn’t silently depend on inherited money is key. An anti-racist hiring strategy isn’t just about checking for bias in the job listing, thinking about where you are posting your listing, and whether you are searching for skills, talents, and abilities versus experience or credentials. It’s about whether you are able to pay people appropriately for their labor."
By Talia Lavin
"A Federal Writers’ Project — an Artists’ Project, really — in 2021 could take full advantage of the range of narrative opportunity, from murals to short films to painstaking oral histories, of communities and jargons and stories that would otherwise disappear. It would create a new lushness in the barren space of our common imagination, open new, free territory in a time when every aspect of our common life is subject to such bitter dispute."
By Brittani Samuel
"The message of We See You, White American Theater is not up for grabs nor can it be subject to misinterpretation. The most important word in the organization’s moniker is “we.” We as arts laborers, we as the global majority, we as the overlooked, overworked, and underappreciated, we as the essential, we all see you, white American theater. And we have opted to take on a revolution within ourselves which can only result in a revolution upon you."
By Vu Le
"The more meetings we attend, the more stuff we do off-hours, the more projects we take on, the more we reinforce this idea among one another that this pace is normal and expected."