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Kamarck, Edward (ed.) / Arts in society: the arts and the black revolution II
(1968)

Robbins, Warren M.
Editorial comment: art and society in Africa and America,   pp. 431-[438] 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.


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