Bridges and Boundaries: African Americans and American Jews

Overview

While no single volume can fully explain this issue, Bridges and Boundaries: African Americans and American Jews provides us with a means to challenge, and perhaps even to verify, our sense of the past - and in so doing to better understand the present. Fifteen critical essays by leading historians, scholars, and political and religious figures of this century provide historical overviews of the relationships between African Americans and American Jews. They also represent the diverse attitudes within the two ...
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Overview

While no single volume can fully explain this issue, Bridges and Boundaries: African Americans and American Jews provides us with a means to challenge, and perhaps even to verify, our sense of the past - and in so doing to better understand the present. Fifteen critical essays by leading historians, scholars, and political and religious figures of this century provide historical overviews of the relationships between African Americans and American Jews. They also represent the diverse attitudes within the two groups, and reflect the multiple voices that have themselves shaped these attitudes. A visual essay that follows links texts and images of more than one hundred works of art and artifacts, first seen in an exhibit at The Jewish Museum, to explore the historical "places" at which the paths of African Americans and American Jews have crossed in meaningful ways during this century.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With contributions by black and Jewish scholars, journalists and leaders, this illustrated companion volume to a traveling exhibition is a Milquetoast of a work. It busies itself with glorifying a black-Jewish common history of suffering, persecution and dedication to civil rights and with generally bemoaning the present rift between the two communities, but on the whole it pussyfoots around recent thornier displays of black-Jewish animosity. In linked 1964 articles, Abraham Joshua Heschel and Martin Luther King Jr. commit themselves to the dual causes of civil rights and Soviet Jewry; David Levering Lewis's 1984 piece focuses on the assimilationist strategies of black and Jewish elites from 1910 to the early 1930s; in a 1963 essay, then-liberal Norman Podhoretz exudes guilt over his hatred and fear of blacks; and a 1984 piece by Barbara Smith reveals how uncomfortable black feminists are with opposing anti-Semitism. Taylor Branch's sharp 1989 dissection of black-Jewish tensions in Chicago is an anomaly here; more telling is the absence of analyses of the 1991 murder of Yankel Rosenbaum in Brooklyn's Crown Heights and City College professor Leonard Jeffries's anti-Semitic remarks, also that year. Salzman directs Columbia University's Center for American Culture Studies. (July)
Library Journal
Over the last 25 years there has been a widening schism in relations between the African American and American Jewish communities. This volume, a collaborative effort between the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and New York's Jewish Museum that accompanies an exhibit, examines the prominent question of how and why the strong alliance for social justice among blacks and Jews in the United States began to disintegrate in the 1960s. A related issue is whether that alliance actually existed. Fifteen essays, authored by noted political and religious leaders, historians, and scholars, open with a historical overview and then continue with dialogs from African Americans and American Jews discussing current group attitudes and how these attitudes developed. Over 100 historically significant visual images link the text to the common experience of both groups. A valuable purchase for race relations collections in academic and public libraries alike.-- Michael A. Lutes, Univ. of Notre Dame Lib., Ind.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807612798
  • Publisher: Braziller, George Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/1992
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 8.81 (w) x 10.57 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 7
Sponsor's Statement 8
Director's Acknowledgments 9
Foreword 12
Introduction 15
Parallels and Divergences: Assimilationist Strategies of Afro-American and Jewish Elites from 1910 to the Early 1930s 17
Blacks and Jews in the Civil Rights Movement: The Case of SNCC 36
Blacks and Jews: The Uncivil War 50
A Fear Beyond Escaping 70
Anti-Negroism Among Jews 74
Anti-Semitism Among Negroes 79
What Happens to Them Happens to Me 86
What Happens to Them Happens to Me 88
Candor About Negro-Jewish Relations 91
Negroes and Jews: The New Challenge to Pluralism 99
My Negro Problem--And Ours 108
Negroes and Jews--The Two Nationalisms and the Bloc(ked) Plurality 118
Blacks and Jews: Different Kinds of Survival 132
Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Relationships Between Black and Jewish Women 136
A Conversation Between Cornel West and Michael Lerner 141
Bridges and Boundaries: A Visual Essay 153
Historical Chronology 245
Bibliography 259
Notes on the Authors 262
Lenders to the Exhibition 264
Committee of Endorsers 266
Acknowledgments 268
Donors to the Exhibition 270
Credit Lines 271
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