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The Alliance of Ethics & Art (AEA)  is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. We are grateful to join with others in the fight against racism, and to seek solutions based on principles of Aesthetic Realism, the education founded by philosopher Eli Siegel:
     (1) Every person's deepest desire is to like the world on an honest or accurate basis. This desire is the source of education and all the arts and sciences. (2) The greatest danger of people is to have contempt – "the addition to self through the lessening of something else."
     All human injustice is caused by contempt – from a child's sarcastic "put down," to lying, bullying, economic exploitation, voter suppression, war. These principles when studied make it possible for racism to end.    – Alice Bernstein


       Benedict College Theater Ensemble
       Benedict College Theater Ensenble. Read about them in the right-hand column.

The Urgency of Difference and Sameness
Rep. Elijah Cummings As headlines appear every day about the racism ravaging our nation, we affirm our mission to join with others combatting racism, with Aesthetic Realism, the philosophy founded by the great American educator Eli Siegel, as our basis. With Baltimore recently a scene of turbulence and agony, Congressman Elijah Cummings (shown left), U.S. Representative of Maryland's 7th congressional district since 1996, earned the respect of people of all ages and skin color, speaking in behalf of justice, compassion, and CHANGE.
       The Alliance is very proud of Alice Bernstein's interviews with Congressman Cummings in Baltimore and Washington some years ago for the oral history project, "The Force of Ethics in Civil Rights." In the following video excerpt, Mr. Cummings tells of men and women who encouraged his desire for justice, and describes his first memories of racial injustice in Baltimore.
          

Celebrating the 20th year  of this Emmy award-winning public service film, "The Heart Knows Better," by filmmaker and Aesthetic Realism consultant Ken Kimmelman.

                               

"The People of Clarendon County"— A Play
by Ossie Davis & the Answer to Racism!
presented in the nation's capital.

                          


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Good things have been happening.
Below, some of the unsung pioneers we have been privileged to interview for "The Force of Ethics in Civil Rights":
Scott-Childs-Burrell-Eskew
Tony Walters, NYC Dr. Robert Hayling, Florida
Top (l-r): Rev. John L. Scott, Harlem; Ken Childs, Esq. South Carolina; Evelyn Kendall Burrell, Chicago; Rev. Elaine Eskew, South Carolina.
Bottom (l-r): Tony Walters, NYC; Dr. Robert Hayling, Florida.

       These men and women represent the sameness and difference in all humanity and are united in one large purpose. In an urgently needed commentary, Ellen Reiss writes in the international journal The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known:
'The one thing that has made people see race or ethnic difference sleazily, cruelly, is the desire for contempt...the feeling, "If I can look down on all these people different from me, if I can see them as beneath me, I'm Somebody, because I'm superior." '
       And she continues:
'Racism will end 1) when people understand and are really against contempt; and 2) when they see what is different from them in the world itself as adding to them, completing them, like them. There is nothing, Aesthetic Realism shows, that doesn't have a structure in common with ourselves. That structure is the oneness of opposites.' 
       Alice Bernstein, for the Alliance, is proud to agree with Ellen Reiss. 'The opposites of difference and sameness, which people have used to be cruel, when studied, have the promise of great beauty: a way of seeing others that is sensible, just, and an immense cause of true pleasure! '
The spirit of Clarendon County continues. An audience of 600 people--young and old--in New York State attended our production of "The People of Clarendon County"--A Play by Ossie Davis, & the Answer to Racism! In this performance, actors Allan Michael, Mugga, and Jeffrey Williams gave dramatic form to the story of the brave black parents in South Carolina who risked their lives in the 1950s to file a lawsuit for their children to have an education equal to that of white children. Dr. Jaime Torres, Onilaja Waters, Dr. Arnold Perey, Monique Michael, and Alice Bernstein told what they're so grateful to have learned from Aesthetic Realism about the cause and answer to racism, including in their own lives.
       AND--in South Carolina, students of Professor Charles David Brooks III, Prof. Charles David Brooks IIIHead of the Arts & Theatre Department at Benedict College in Columbia, gave 3 performances of Ossie Davis's play"The People of Clarendon County." This came about through a request by graduating senior, Carrington Hardin, to the professor. And we're grateful that in those South Carolina events, Professor Brooks (shown above) read the introduction by Alice Bernstein, which tells why Ossie Davis wanted his play performed in relation to Aesthetic Realism, believing the combination could be powerful in opposing racism. The Benedict College performances were a big success. Enjoy their photos below and at the top of the left hand column. To be continued!
Benedict College theater ensemble two      Benedict College performers, in scene from "Clarendon County"