Judith Eiseman: ‘Art can help enlighten us’

Published: 10/13/2021 10:05:05 AM

Many letter writers captured exactly my outrage and disgust at the Northampton Art Council’s response to the Easthampton poet laureate’s comments.

I, too, am haunted by what I’ve learned about racism, slavery, and the suffering of Indigenous peoples by reading and talking and thinking about it for all of my adult life. Art can help enlighten us, but not if it is censored before it has a chance to be discussed and critiqued — critiqued on its technique, its substance, its realization of the artists’ intention, its relevance, whether it moves or repels us, and a myriad of other criteria.

I’m an aging white woman, too, but I haven’t “suddenly had to learn about it.” I’m still searching and learning and changing at 74 and I suggest that Mr. Montgomery and the Arts Council continue to think deeply about the difference between what they think they know and what might still be out there to be learned.

Judith Eiseman


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