History and This Very Moment
Inge Hardison, sculptor, with bust of Martin Luther KingOur oral history project of interviews with unsung pioneers, "The Force of Ethics in Civil Rights," aims to show history as alive, immediate, and a means of understanding what people are hoping for and deserve this very moment. We want to educate and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to seek solutions together based on principles of Aesthetic Realism.
     A branch of our oral history project is about the power of ethics, of good will, between African Americans and Jews during a time of great brutality and horror. It is the story of how dozens of Jewish Refugee Scholars, attempting to flee the Nazi Holocaust in the 1930s-40s, were saved by black colleges in the South. Administrators of these colleges risked the backlash of Southern racism by offering jobs and safe haven to Jews who could not enter the U.S otherwise. Their good will benefited all concerned. We thank the Puffin Foundation whose support enables us to add to Gabrielle Edgcomb's research, From Swastika to Jim Crow, on this little known, moving and important history.
Viktor Lowenfeld     Jewish refugee scholar Viktor Lowenfeld (left), taught art at Hampton Institute (Virginia) in the 1940s. He influenced many black students to enter the arts, some of whom went on to distinguished careers. He also encouraged the hiring of black art instructors, notably the sculptor Inge Hardison (above) who joined Hampton's faculty. I look forward to writing about my interview with Inge Hardison in her home/studio last July.