The Stan Getz Library (150 Massachusetts Avenue) and the Albert Alphin Library (8 Fenway), along with the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, developed a new collection of books focused specifically on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The collection includes diverse intellectual approaches, incorporating not only sociological and historical writings, but various literary genres that complement academic research, ranging from novels, short stories, poetry, music biographies, memoirs and other literary works that address topics around race, gender, class, disability, heritage, and other sociocultural identities.
This collection is available on an honor system to anyone, with no checkout or due date required. Additionally, patrons can leave a review of books they read and make recommendations for additional titles to the collection.
Below, you will also find some recommendations for pleasure reading, watching, and/or listening. In addition, read Berklee’s Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’s statement on anti-Black sentiment, bias, discrimination, oppression, and the need to combat these behaviors within our communities and browse resources on these topics.
Reading List: Books
Acts of Activism: Human Rights as Radical Performance
D. Soyini Madison
Madison presents the neglected yet compelling and necessary story of local activists in South Saharan Africa who employ modes of performance as tactics of resistance and intervention in their day-to-day struggles for human rights. The dynamic relationship between performance and activism is illustrated in three case studies that showcase continuing juxtaposition between the everyday performances of local activism and their staged enactments before theater audiences in Ghana and the USA.
The Poet X
This novel-in-verse follows Afro Latina teen Xiomara Batista through daily life in her Harlem neighborhood. Xiomara pours her thoughts and frustrations onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting her poems to herself like prayers. Elizabeth Acevedo’s debut amplifies the voices of girls in El Barrio and offers up a complex and nuanced heroine to root for.
Migrating the Black Body: The African Diaspora and Visual Culture
Leigh Raiford & Heike Raphael-Hernandez, Editors
Migrating the Black Body explores how visual media―from painting to photography, global independent cinema to Hollywood movies, posters and broadsides to digital media, and public art to graphic novels―has shaped diasporic imaginings of the individual and collective self. This volume brings together an international group of scholars and artists who explore these questions in visual culture for the historical and contemporary African diaspora.
Pidgin Eye spans 35 years of poetry by acclaimed author Joe Balaz. Writing in Pidgin (Hawaiʻi Creole English), he honors the beauty, strength, and complexity of Hawaiʻi and the voices of its peoples. Balaz’s philosophical lyricism tightly weaves history and humor, aloha ʻāina and protest, the spiritual and the everyday.
Reading List: Articles and Interviews
Performance Art as an Activist Tool
A Harvard Political Review interview with Amy Elizabeth Alterman, a Ph.D. candidate in Culture and Performance at UCLA, discusses how imperfect progress is better than no progress at all.
Female Playwrights, Hispanic Comedia: A Jubilee Primer
Barbara Fuchs and Rafael Jaime
As theaters across the United States take up the challenge of expanding their repertoire to tell a more representative set of stories, can diversity extend beyond contemporary theater?
A Different Portrait of America
A reflection of Luis Valdez’s play, Valley of the Heart, a love story between an Asian American woman and a Mexican American man—characters rarely portrayed on the American stage.
Fall Theater In Boston—It Isn't The Great White Way
In 2018, almost every play or musical that opened in Boston’s large or midsize theaters addressed the question of race in America.
Bonnie Jones: The Sounds of Not Belonging
Jones discusses the benefits and challenges of combining sound and text in improvisatory settings, her personal development as an artist, and elevating the art scene in one’s community through participation and service.
Black, Queer, and Here
Scott reflects on some of the issues faced by queer Black theater artists.
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive
An ever-growing collection of dance videos filmed at Jacob’s Pillow from the 1930s to today.
Create Your Revolution
An interview with the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who shares his views on the artist’s role and responsibility and the communicative force of art.
Meet Disabled Dancers Alice Sheppard and Laurel Lawson
Now This: Seen
Disabled dancers Alice Sheppard and Laurel Lawson are bringing an entirely new form of representation to the art form.
Singing For Life In A Crypt In Harlem
Opera singer Lawrence Brownlee is known for portraying kings and princes. But lately he's been thinking about real people: Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Freddie Gray, to name a few.
"in this fine suit": On Being a Black Playwright in the American Theater
Adapted from Aleshea Harris’s speech delivered at the 2020 Under the Radar Festival Professional Symposium.
Bassist Linda May Han Oh Is a Musician Rooted In Curiosity
Alex Riff and Nate Chinen
Jazz Night in America delves into May Han Oh's unique background and broadminded musical intentions.
Revelations from a Lifetime of Dance
In between performances of excerpts from Alvin Ailey's classic works "Revelations" and "Cry," Judith Jamison, artistic director emerita of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, reflects on the enduring power of dance to transform history into art that thrills audiences around the world.
Pananadem means “remembering” in the language of the Maranao people (Philippines). It is a way of looking back across time, to gain inspiration and perspective from one’s ancestors. Presented by La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club.
Melissa Dunphy: Composing Has To Be a Calling
Melissa Dunphy, primarily a composer of vocal and choral music, frequently creates music inspired by current events. As she explained to Frank J. Oteri in this video presentation by Molly Sheridan, "When I realized what I wanted to do as a composer, I realized that it sounded much more like a political mission than purely an artistic mission."
A Dance to Honor Mother Earth
Movement artists Jon Boogz and Lil Buck debut "Honor thy mother," a delicate, powerful performance of spoken word, violin, and dance that draws on the tormented relationship between nature and humanity.
Films about, for, and by women.
PillowVoices: Dance Through Time
PillowVoices: Dance Through Time brings listeners closer to notable dance artists connected with Jacob's Pillow, from 1933 to today.
Dissect is a serialized music podcast that examines a single album per season, one song per episode. Past seasons include To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar, Channel Orange & Blonde by Frank Ocean, and the current season features Lemonade by Beyoncé.
David’s Out For A Good Time
An LGBTQ+ podcast hosted by blogger and writer David Olshanetsky, featuring regular artist guests Bebe Rexha, Charli XCX, and Olly Alexander.
Microphone Check with Frannie and Ali
A podcast featuring conversations with key voices in hip-hop culture.
Listening to Ladies: The Podcast (Archive)
Listening to Ladies features excerpts from interviews with women composers, interwoven with samples of their work.
The Dance Union
The Dance Union podcast is “A place to share ideas. A place to voice concerns. A place to demand change. A space of resistance. A space to unify.”
Alt.Latino is a spotlight on the world of Latinx arts and culture through music, stories, and conversation.
One From the Vaults
A trans history podcast by Morgan M Page, a beautifully narrated historical account of trans history and diverse figures.
From the Ground Up
A podcast that interviews theater companies from around the world, covering topics such as telling immigrant and refugee stories to making a living wage as a theatre artist.