Kamarck, Edward (ed.) / Arts in society: the arts and the black revolution II
Robbins, Warren M.
Editorial comment: art and society in Africa and America, pp. 431- PDF (9.6 MB)
Page [434 and 435]
b. a reconstructed view of Africa which 435 departs far from the pattern of western ethnocentricity established in the 17th century, to take cognizance of the tremendous strides in cultural evolution made by human beings of an earlier era in Africa; of the African empires of the Middle Ages and of Africa's contributions in non-materialistic terms to mankind. Giving Africa respectability in the cultural spectrum of man has special implications in America beyond merely informing the public, since it tends to release the sources of pride and positive self-identity among Negro-Americans - particularly children - that have been locked up with a negative view of their ancestral origins, a view in which unarticulated self-hatred finds nourishment. c. the art historian's profound respect for the tribal sculpture of Africa which attests to its rich and ancient creative heritage. African tribal sculpture which, in the absence of written language, represents in plastic form the social customs, history, religion, literature, and law of the people, becomes an invaluable educational tool beyond the realm of aesthetics itself. d. the modern artist's recognition of the impact that the arts of Africa have had upon the 20th century Western cultural revolution - in painting, in sculpture, music and dance. e. a reinterpretation of the Negro's role in American history and an illumination of his contributions to the development of the United States. Setting the historical record straight discloses innumerable Negro figures who, from the nation's very inception, and before, have contributed fundamentally to its material and political development, its democratic institutions, its industry, its science, arts and culture. f. orientation in the semantics of interracial understanding, demonstrating how faulty language usage and distorted perception convey and perpetuate misconception. g. scientifically valid biological concepts to obliterate false notions of racial inferiority or superiority. Hundreds of school classes each year receive guided lecture tours of the exhibits of African art and Negro history.