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Reprinted from.....
VOL. 28 NO. 48 WEDNESDAY, MAY 5, 1999

Aesthetic Realism and the anthropology of Africa


    In what promises to be the most important series of classes ever given by an anthropologist about Africa, the distinguished American educator, Dr. Arnold Perey, will teach a semester course at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation in New York City, focusing on the meaning of Africa for the whole world. 

    "There is no doubt all the world's people arose from Africa, and not so very long ago," Dr. Perey told me. "And therefore, every person in America and the world is closely related to the people of Africa." Dr. Perey had the honor to study with Eli Siegel, the great historian, poet, and social scientist who founded Aesthetic Realism. He described how much it means to him to learn from Mr. Siegel that the deepest feelings of all people, everywhere, are more alike than different. "And," he said, "you can see this through studying African culture." 

    Some of the subjects he intends to look at are: "War and Peace in the Tribe and in Yourself;" "Art Makes Sense of Our Deepest Conflicts: Sculptures from the Dogon, Fang, Songye." This class will be at the Museum for African Art in New York City, and will be taught with Marcia Rackow, Aesthetic Realism consultant and instructor of the class "The Visual Arts and the Opposites." 

     There will be a class entitled "Can African Animism Teach Us to Feel More Deeply?" About this class, Dr. Perey told me: "The depth of religious feeling in Africa has not been understood — and I'll try to encourage people to understand it." 

    The course, as a whole, begins with a class entitled, "Africa Is Related to the Whole World" — a study using Homer's The Odyssey and The Iliad. A first in world scholarship! 

    In 1973, with the sponsorship of Margaret Mead, Columbia University awarded Arnold Perey his doctorate for the ground-breaking thesis Oksapmin Society and World View. Using field work he had earlier done in Papua New Guinea, this was the first thesis in anthropology to have as its stated basis the principles of the philosophy of Aesthetic Realism, including the central statement by Eli Siegel: 

"All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves."    Among Dr. Perey's writings are important articles explaining how racism can end — including one available in the archives of the web site of The Black World Today (www.tbwt.com), entitled "Aesthetic Realism: the Solution to Racism." Arnold Perey said: "I learned from Eli Siegel that the answer to racism is in aesthetics — the making one of opposites: especially the making one of difference and sameness. What is happening now all over the world is that people use the physical and cultural differences they see to have a dangerous contempt for the minds and lives of other people. This makes for horrors. For racism to end, people must see with tremendous respect and love just how we are like people of other races, and at the same time different. The difference of other people adds to us, makes us wider and more intelligent, it doesn't take away one bit — although people have thought it did for centuries. This is what I learned, and what I teach in every class." 

    To get information about how to register for this series of classes, or permission to audit individual classes, you can call the not-for-profit Aesthetic Realism Foundation (212)777-4490, or visit its web site: www.AestheticRealism.org. Dr. Perey's course meets on alternate Wednesday evenings (6 PM) and begins May 19. 

    Edward Green, a professor of world music at Manhattan School of Music, is a regular feature columnist with the international magazine, "U.S. African Eye."


Edward Green writes:

Arnold Perey learned from Aesthetic Realism that the deepest feelings of all people, everywhere, are more alike than different.

Aesthetic Realism vs. Racism


Button image
"On Racism & How to End It"  by Nancy Huntting

Button image "A Muslim Woman's Life" by Ruth Oron

Button image "Poems by Eli Siegel about Martin Luther King and America" by Alice Bernstein

Button imageAesthetic Realism and the Answer to Racism

Button image"Genome & Equality" by Alice Bernstein.

Button image"Words, Truth, & the Confederate Flag" by Alice Bernstein

Button image "Fascism, Understood At Last!" by Ruth Oron

Button image"Aesthetic Realism: The Solution to Racism" by Arnold Perey, PhD

Button image"Contempt, the Cause of Racism" by Edward Green

Button image"Queen's Visit to Amritsar" by Christopher Balchin

Button image"In Contempt the Root of Racism Lies" by Allan Michael

Button image"Prejudice Changes to Respect" by Barbara McClung

Button image"Students Learn, Prejudice Is Defeated!" by Patricia Martone

Button image"Mathematics vs. Prejudice" by Lori Colavito

Button image"Aesthetic Realism and the Anthropology of Africa" by Edward Green


In the Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known


Racism Can End June 25, 1997 (Reprinted 2004)
 • The Aesthetics of Equality  January 20, 1999
 • The Right of Every Child December 17, 1997


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