Alice Bernstein and mastheads

                           Alice Bernstein & Friends
to my website, where you can read articles by me and persons I am proud to have as friends and colleagues. They have been published in many newspapers, including Charleston Chronicle, Tennessee Tribune, La Vida News/ The Black Voice (Texas), Birmingham Times, Harlem News, Omaha Star, Philadelphia Sun. They show the importance of Aesthetic Realism, the philosophy founded by the great American educator and critic Eli Siegel, in understanding the questions of people everywhere about the world and our individual lives.     — Alice Bernstein

   Latest News

Dr. Jamye Coleman Williams: A Passion for Education & Justice
Drs. Williams and Alliance team
Dr. Jamye Coleman Williams, educator, activist, and leader in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, shown above right with her husband, Dr. McDonald Williams, and the Alliance team, was the guest speaker on March 2nd
at Harvard University’s Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations. At age 97, Dr. Williams is a vibrant, contemporary woman who has fought for equality
in education and civil rights. Dr. Williams’ rich life has been spent opposing injustice in many important ways. In her talk she discussed her work 1) as an educator for over 48 years in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); 2) as a civil rights activist in the 1950s-60s; and, 3) in the AME Church.    Link to story

A South Carolina Story about Hope
Bishop James and the Rosenwald School As South Carolina was enduring terrible flooding and continuing rains, I tried to reach many friends my colleagues and I have made over 15 years, to say how much they mean to us and to offer encouragement. When I finally reached revered A.M.E. Bishop Frederick James (now 93) in Columbia, I was relieved to hear that he and his wife are faring well. Then I gingerly asked how his dear, unfinished Rosenwald School building in Prosperity, SC had fared.    Link to story

A Broadway Journey against Racism--Philip Rose & A Raisin in the Sun
Link to article.
Raisin in the Sun - historic team photo
(l-r) David Cogan, Lorraine Hansberry, Lloyd Richards, Philip Rose, and
Sidney Poitier.

Remembering Brooklyn Congressman
Major R. Owens (1936 - 2013)

I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing Congressman Major R. Owensof Congressman Major R. Owens on Monday, October 21st.  In thinking of his legacy, I feel proud to be among millions of Americans who are grateful
for the life and work of the Congressman. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983 until retiring
in 2007. While he represented Brooklyn's 11th District, his dedication to
education, civil rights, anti-poverty, and people with disabilities--to mention
only a few crucial matters--helped to make our entire country kinder and more just. He will be truly missed! 
     As a journalist, Aesthetic Realism Associate, and historian of civil rights, I met Major Owens beginning in 2000, at conferences and workshops on education, health care, labor, and civil rights, in Washington, DC and in New York City. When, in 2005, Lyn Miller-Lachmann, Editor-in-Chief of MultiCultural Review, asked me to interview Mr. Owens in relation to the fact that he was the only member of Congress who was also a librarian, I welcomed the opportunity. My interview took place at his Brooklyn Congressional office on Utica Avenue. 
      "Congressman Major Owens: Literature from Shakespeare to Rap," appeared in MultiCultural Review and was soon taken up by newspapers and journals around the country. (See link to the article below.) The article includes a quote from his rap against proposed cuts in Head Start and other health and education programs. He became known as 'the rappin rep.' "The Nation Needs Your Lunch" is an instance of the justice he was fighting for and his feeling for people young and old. It begins:
          Kids of America
         There is a fiscal crunch.
         This great nation
          Now needs your lunch
         To set the budget right.
In a near time I'll say more about Congressman Owens, including about the educational performance event in 2010 presented in his honor at Medgar Evers College (CUNY) in Brooklyn: "The People of Clarendon County"--A Play by Ossie Davis, & the Answer to Racism!
            Link to the story.

Tuskegee Airman Dabney Montgomery
and The Force of Ethics in Civil Rights
This new article is by David Bernstein, writing as cameraman for the oral history project. Mr. Bernstein movingly describes the interview with Mr. Montgomery in relation to what he learned from Eli Siegel and Aesthetic Realism about what it means to be fair to the suffering of other people.
            Link to the story.

Envisioning Emancipation and the urgent question:
how should we see people?
A new book from Temple University Press, published in honor of the Emancipation Proclamation's 150th anniversary, provides an opportunity for everyone to address this urgent question, still raging in America: How should we see other people?
            Link to the story.

Poetry, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Dr. Martin Luther King
                Lincoln, King, Siegel
January 1, 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, stating that “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State . . . shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” In 1968, with enormous respect for Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Eli Siegel expressed what America and every person in our troubled world is hoping for, in "Something Else Should Die: A Poem With Rhymes." What would it mean for injustice to die?
            Link to the story.

Honoring Unsung Heroes in Somerset, NJ - Link to the Story Voting rights protest, nyc

Link to an Article Rediscovered -
Benedict College Luncheon Highlights Works of Alice Bernstein

Benedict College Luncheon Highlights Works of Alice Bernstein

"The People of Clarendon County" —
A Play by Ossie Davis, & the Answer to Racism

This educational performance event, based on the play by Ossie Davis and the book by Alice Bernstein, travels to schools, libraries, museums, churches, and universities around the country. The following are only the most recent events that have taken place since November 28, 2007.

•  Somerset Run Clubhouse, Somerset, NY  •  SE Regional Black Male Summit, Columbia, SC
•  North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh   •  Tulane University Law School, New Orleans
•  Elmont Memorial Library, Elmont, NY    •  Hamilton Fish Park Public Library, New York, NY
•  Medgar Evers College (CUNY), Brooklyn, NY      •  Baruch College (CUNY), New York, NY
James Clyburn and Alice Bernstein •  South Carolina State University, Orangeburg & the I.P. Stanback Museum     & Planetarium
•  Congressional Auditorium, US Capitol Visitor Center,
    Washington, DC

                Washington, DC: House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn opens Clarendon event
                                       with Alice Bernstein at the Congressional Auditorium, US Capitol
                                            Visitor Center, October 21, 2009. Photo credit: Robert Murphy

Clarendon County bookThe People of Clarendon County
—A Play by Ossie Davis

with Photographs & Historical Documents, & Essays
on the Education That Can End Racism

Edited by Alice Bernstein

Ruby Dee, Academy Award Nominee, says of Alice Bernstein and this book: "In her commitment to telling the story of the civil rights struggles...Alice uncovered the play, "The People of Clarendon County."... It moved my husband to think that fifty years later, school children might learn about history by reading or acting in his play. In addition, Alice's book will also inform people about the success of the Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method in enabling children to learn every subject, and ending prejudice in the classroom." Read the article about the play, Ossie Davis, and Third World Press!

Ruby Dee, Student actors, and Alice BernsteinRight: Book launch, November 28, 2007, at the Harlem School of the Arts, which included:
1) Alice Bernstein's account of conversations with Ossie Davis, research which led to his play and her book; 2) performance of the play by drama students, 3) interactive lesson based on the Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method by educator Monique Michael, and 4) comments by legendary actress/activist and Academy Award Nominee, Ruby Dee, wife of Ossie Davis.

Also by Alice Bernstein:
Book cover - Answer to RacismAESTHETIC REALISM AND THE ANSWER TO RACISM This book is being published with a sense of urgency and hope; urgency, because racism is still rampant in the world; hope, because there is a true, practical, kind, learnable, and yes—even beautiful—answer. That answer is in the study of Aesthetic Realism, the education founded by the great American poet and critic Eli Siegel (1902-1978), who identified the cause of all human injustice as contempt, the "addition to self through the lessening of something else." Racism, he explained, does not begin with race, but with the human tendency to have contempt for the world, for everything the self sees as different.  This book documents how, through study of Aesthetic Realism, contempt changes—not into tolerance, but into true respect for other people, and a conviction that we need the difference of the world to be all we can be.  >> Click here to read more....