In Part Two, my conversation continues with Rabbi Michael Lerner— a renowned author, activist and humanitarian based in Berkeley, California—who along with Vaclav Havel and Noam Chomsky, Rabbi Lerner was chosen in 1998 by Utne Reader as one of the world's "100 top visionaries". And among other things, in 2005 Lerner received the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Community Builders Prize from Morehouse College, the alma mater of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr..
Earlier this year I conduced a feature podcast with Ruth Ericson, a curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) about the epic Black Mountain College (BMC) exhibition she worked on under the direction of Helen Molesworth, who spearheaded the touring exhibition and presentation. In Part Three of our conversation Ericson and I first talk about pottery at BMC, and about Ruth Asawa’s prolific body of work created while at BMC. In conclusion, we talked about the African-Americans involved with BMC, including Jacob Lawrence.
In the broadest sense, the power of sympathy is beyond measure. Unfortunately, however, in the Western world the word sympathy often gets conflated with self-pity. From a blog post at Dictionary.com: Nowadays sympathy is largely used to convey commiseration, pity, or feelings of sorrow for someone who is experiencing misfortune. For me the term has very little, if anything, to do with commiseration. It's really about affinity. Click image to read more and see more images.
Until 1967 less than “a dozen museum exhibitions had featured the work of African American artists,” and though things have slowly gotten better for Black artists, it didn’t happen by magic. It happened because African-American artists were courageous enough to take to the streets and demand change! So I’m calling on African American Artists of a Certain Status to do the right thing and speak out forcefully against homelessness and the social acceptability of poverty, the ongoing [extrajudicial] killings of African-Americans, the school-to-prison pipeline, the slave-like conditions of the federal penitentiary and all other forms of “Jim Crow 2.0.”