What We're Reading: October 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!
Why ‘Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion’ Is Obsolete by Nicole Brewer
"ART [anti-racist theatre] is defined as practices and policies that actively acknowledge and interrogate racism, anti-Blackness, and other discriminatory practice, while promoting anti-racist ideas, values, and policies that counter the oppression of any people during the education or production of theatre. Instead of being mission- and intentions-based, ART is based in action and transformation."
An analysis of how and why a well-intentioned initiative has failed to yield results, and a proposal for better practices.
Do Not ‘Decolonize' . . . If You Are Not Decolonizing by Nayantara Sheoran Appleton
"I...ask for some refrain when using the word ‘Decolonizing.’ It does a disservice to the amazing indigenous scholarship and activist work that is targeting power structures to shake and reshape them to accommodate indigeneity. So, my humble suggestion, till you are actually willing and able to do the work of decolonizing the structures you (and even me) benefit from currently, let us think of better words to do what we are actually doing."
An article from Critical Ethnic Studies on why academic institutions need to put practice behind words.
Black Americans Should Stop Forgiving White Racists by Stacey Patton
"Forgiveness has become a requirement for those enduring the realities of black death in America. Black families are expected to grieve as a public spectacle, to offer comfort, redemption, and a pathway to a new day."
An article from the Washington Post that details why the demand for public forgiveness for crimes against Black people perpetuates the cycle of abuse.
Black Theater Is Having a Moment. Thank Tyler Perry. (Seriously.) by Wesley Morris
And we're also reading the below response to the above article!
What's the Point by Michael Chabon
"Maybe the world in its violent turning is too strong for art. Maybe art is a kind of winning streak, a hot hand at the table, articulating a vision of truth and possibility that, while real, simply cannot endure. Over time, the odds grind you down, and in the end the house always wins. Or maybe the purpose of art, the blessing of art, has nothing to do with improvement, with amelioration, with making this heartbreaking world, this savage and dopey nation, a better place. Maybe art just makes the whole depressing thing more bearable."
Michael Chabon reflects on his past nine years as Chairman of the Board at MacDowell Colony, and wonders if the art made their had any impact on the world, and whether that was ever the point.