From the director . . .
Thank you for all the messages celebrating our 5th anniversary of presenting "The People of Clarendon County"--A Play by Ossie Davis, & the Answer to Racism! based on the book published by Third World Press in Chicago.
It's been an honor--and immense pleasure--to tell audiences around the country about little known events in the struggle for civil rights, and how this fight is illuminated by the education that explains and can end racism: Aesthetic Realism, founded by the great philosopher Eli Siegel.
Last week we gave our 33rd! presentation, in the Somerset Run Clubhouse in Somerset, NJ to a diverse audience of Christians, Muslims, and Jews, black and white. We're grateful to Somerset's Charitable & Cultural Club (C&C) for the invitation to present Ossie Davis's 1955 play about the brave black parents in Clarendon County, SC who risked their jobs, homes, and very lives, to fight for decent education for all children. Their actions led to the landmark Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education, outlawing segregation in public schools. Click here for the complete program.
Dr. Jaime R. Torres, Onilaja Waters, Dr. Arnold Perey, and I were proud to speak about what each of us has learned from Aesthetic Realism: that racism comes from contempt--"the addition to self through the lessening of something else." And the answer to racism is in learning that our true importance comes from seeing, not lessening, the full reality of other human beings. Seeing that the feelings of people different from ourselves are as real and as deep as our own, is the education that will enable there to be sanity and kindness in America about race!
In her welcome, Sheila Aronoff told how C&C had heard from her husband Robert about "the very exciting work that Alice and her colleagues are doing to fight racism." He'd seen their program at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn last year and said 'This is a must for C&C'!"
(l-r) Dr. Jaime Torres, Barbara Klausner, Onilaja Waters, Dr. Arnold Perey
A gripping performance of Ossie Davis's "The People of Clarendon County" was enacted by Marty Honig from Somerset, as the Narrator; Jeffrey Williams played Rev. Joseph DeLaine, the NAACP leader from Clarendon County; and Allan Michael and Mugga gave powerful portrayals of Mary and William Ragin, parents whose son attended the inferior black school. As an overture, Barbara Klausner of Somerset sang two spirituals evoking the struggle for freedom.
(l-r) Jeffrey Williams, Alice Bernstein, Marty Honig, Allan Michael, Mugga