No Silence on Race

Posted in Articles, Canada, Interviews, Judaism, Media Archive, Religion, Social Justice on 2021-10-22 14:26Z by Steven

No Silence on Race

Be’chol Lashon
2021-10-19

Team Be’chol Lashon

No Silence on Race is a movement born of the necessity for both racial equity and inclusivity within Canadian Jewish spaces.

This month Periphery, an exhibition about Jews of Color (JOC) opened in Toronto, Canada. A collaboration between the group No Silence on Race and the Ontario Jewish Archives, Periphery shares the voices and faces of Canadian Jews who are often not seen in the mainstream presentations of Jewish life. We at Be’chol Lashon sat down with members of the No Silence on Race team to learn more about them and their work.

Team Be’chol Lashon: Tell us a little about yourselves

The No Silence on Race core team is Sara Yacobi-Harris, Akilah-Allen Silverstein and Yoni Belete. We are 3 young professionals based in Toronto, Canada…

Read the entire interview here.

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What is at the Root of White Anxiety?

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Religion, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2021-10-20 00:52Z by Steven

What is at the Root of White Anxiety?

Three-Fifths: Voice of Clarity
2021-10-08

Frank Robinson
Austin, Texas

The most recent US Census reports a significant decline in the white population, while non-white and mixed-race categories notably increased. Researchers anticipate a reduction of white wealth and power. They expect this to trigger gerrymandering efforts while giving white extremists, oblivious to massive disparities non-whites experience daily, new opportunities to exploit. White fragility? Say hello to white anxiety.

There are layers of this for white people, especially those insulated in homogeneous communities, and whose worship of God, instead of being focused on unselfishly loving and elevating one’s neighbor, including strangers, has instead conserved their own power and dominance. Every undeserved, misinformed sense of superiority is at risk of exposure. But there’s a more visceral dread.

There’s a deep sense of apprehension that something’s wrong, it’s coming, and we deserve it. For, if there is a God anywhere, if Justice exists in this universe, evil is stalking us. Sooner or later, it’ll find us. It must. And we brought it on ourselves…

Read the entire article here.

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Born into slavery, they rose to be elite New York Jews. A new book tells their story.

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Interviews, Judaism, Media Archive, Passing, Religion, Slavery, United States on 2021-10-08 14:05Z by Steven

Born into slavery, they rose to be elite New York Jews. A new book tells their story.

Religion News Service
2021-10-05

Yonat Shimron, National Reporter and Senior Editor


Once We Were Slaves: The Extraordinary Journey of a Multiracial Jewish Family” and author Laura Arnold Leibman. Courtesy images

In her new book, ‘Once We Were Slaves: The Extraordinary Journey of a Multiracial Jewish Family,’ Laura Arnold Leibman shows that Jews were not only slave owners. They were also slaves.

(RNS) — Jews are proud of the biblical story from Exodus that recounts their deliverance from slavery in Egypt in the third century B.C.

But few U.S. Jews consider that some of their ancestors were slaves in the trans-Atlantic slave trade that ended in the 19th century.

In her new book, “Once We Were Slaves: The Extraordinary Journey of a Multiracial Jewish Family,” Laura Arnold Leibman, a Reed College English professor, conclusively shows that Jews, who were typically thought of as white, were not only slave owners. They were also slaves.

Leibman does this by excavating the genealogies of Sarah and Isaac Lopez Brandon, siblings born in the late 18th century to a wealthy Barbadian Jewish businessman and an enslaved woman. The siblings eventually made it New York, where they were able to pass as white. They became accomplished and affluent members of New York City’s oldest Jewish congregation, Shearith Israel.

Sarah and Isaac’s father, Abraham Rodriguez Brandon, was a Sephardic Jew who traced his ancestry to the expulsion of Jews from Spain. He settled in Barbados as part of a Jewish community of between 400 and 500 families that worked on the island’s sugar plantations and refineries.

Brandon secured his children’s manumission fees, and in 1801 they became “free mulattos.” In Barbados, that still meant they could not vote or hold office, or for that matter be married in the island’s synagogue or buried in its cemetery.

But America was kinder to them. Both Sarah and Isaac immigrated to America and married into prominent and wealthy U.S. Jewish families while hiding their past. One granddaughter had no clue about their origins.

Religion News Service talked to Leibman about her discovery of the Brandon genealogy and what it means for the U.S. Jewish community to grapple with its multiracial past and present. The interview was edited for length and clarity…

Read the entire interview here.

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‘Black & Jewish Talk Series’ starts with ‘A Conversation’

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Judaism, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2021-10-07 19:11Z by Steven

‘Black & Jewish Talk Series’ starts with ‘A Conversation’

The Harvard Gazette
2021-02-18

Manisha Aggarwal-Schifellite, Harvard Staff Writer

Exploring their identities through culture, politics, and religion

The Center for Jewish Studies and the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research debut Monday “Black & Jewish: A Conversation,” the first installment of a new joint venture to shed light on the multifaceted nature of Black and Jewish identities in North America.

“Black & Jewish” is the first of three scheduled events this semester in the “Black & Jewish Talk Series,” focused on culture, politics, and religion.

“There is a lot of focus on the relationship between Black communities and Jewish communities in the U.S., but Black and Jewish identity hasn’t received very much scholarly attention,” said Sara Feldman, a preceptor of Yiddish in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and a co-organizer of the series. “There are many people in the United States who identify as both Black and Jewish. It’s time that their voices are amplified here at Harvard.”

“Black and Jewish: A Conversation,” takes place with vocalist and composer Anthony Russell and Rebecca Pierce, a writer and filmmaker. The discussion will be moderated by Katya Gibel Mevorach, Professor of Anthropology and American Studies at Grinnell College, and will focus on how Jewish diversity is discussed in public life and how it can and should change…

Read the entire article here.

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Once We Were Slaves: The Extraordinary Journey of a Multi-Racial Jewish Family

Posted in Biography, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Judaism, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, Religion, Slavery, United States on 2021-10-07 15:45Z by Steven

Once We Were Slaves: The Extraordinary Journey of a Multi-Racial Jewish Family

Oxford University Press
2021-08-30
320 Pages
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780197530474

Laura Arnold Leibman, Professor of English and Humanities
Reed College, Portland, Oregon

Highlights

  • Provides a rare historical portrait of life as a Jewish American of color
  • Examines the history of racial “passing” in an international context
  • Uses an intersectional lens to untangle a family history

An obsessive genealogist and descendent of one of the most prominent Jewish families since the American Revolution, Blanche Moses firmly believed her maternal ancestors were Sephardic grandees. Yet she found herself at a dead end when it came to her grandmother’s maternal line. Using family heirlooms to unlock the mystery of Moses’s ancestors, Once We Were Slaves overturns the reclusive heiress’s assumptions about her family history to reveal that her grandmother and great-uncle, Sarah and Isaac Brandon, actually began their lives as poor Christian slaves in Barbados. Tracing the siblings’ extraordinary journey throughout the Atlantic World, Leibman examines artifacts they left behind in Barbados, Suriname, London, Philadelphia, and, finally, New York, to show how Sarah and Isaac were able to transform themselves and their lives, becoming free, wealthy, Jewish, and–at times–white. While their affluence made them unusual, their story mirrors that of the largely forgotten population of mixed African and Jewish ancestry that constituted as much as ten percent of the Jewish communities in which the siblings lived, and sheds new light on the fluidity of race–as well as on the role of religion in racial shift–in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Table of Contents

  • Illustrations
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1: Origins (Bridgetown, 1793-1798)
  • Chapter 2: From Slave to Free (Bridgetown, 1801)
  • Chapter 3: From Christian to Jew (Suriname, 1811-12)
  • Chapter 4: The Tumultuous Island (Bridgetown, 1812-1817)
  • Chapter 5: Synagogue Seats (New York & Philadelphia, 1793-1818)
  • Chapter 6: The Material of Race (London, 1815-17)
  • Chapter 7: Voices of Rebellion (Bridgetown, 1818-24)
  • Chapter 8: A Woman Valor (New York, 1817-19)
  • Chapter 9: This Liberal City (Philadelphia, 1818-33)
  • Chapter 10: Feverish Love (New York, 1819-1830)
  • Chapter 11: When I am Gone (New York, Barbados, London, 1830-1847)
  • Chapter 12: Legacies (New York and Beyond, 1841-1860)
  • Epilogue
  • Appendix: Family Trees
  • Abbreviations
  • Bibliography
  • Notes
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Jews of color, once sidelined, now being recruited by Jewish agencies

Posted in Articles, Judaism, Media Archive, Religion, Social Justice, United States on 2021-09-22 01:46Z by Steven

Jews of color, once sidelined, now being recruited by Jewish agencies

The Jewish News of Northern California
2021-08-05

Rachele Kanigel, Professor of Journalism
San Francisco State University


Paula Pretlow (right) with her daughter Alison in Jerusalem.

During her 13 years as a lay leader in the Jewish community, Paula Pretlow couldn’t help but notice the obvious: When decisions were being made, she usually was the only Jew of color in the room.

As a retired executive of an investment management firm, Pretlow was a “catch” for Jewish organizations. She was well versed in the language of finance, and she had impressive professional experience and connections.

Shortly after she joined Temple Isaiah in Lafayette in 2007, her rabbi suggested she serve on its board of directors. Later, when she moved to San Francisco and joined Congregation Emanu-El, she was asked to join that board. And then a major national philanthropic organization, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, invited her to become a trustee.

Other leaders in the Jewish community sought her counsel. She was a macher, a person of influence. But as a Black woman, she rarely saw other Jews of color in similar positions of power.

That’s begun to change in the past year.

In the 14 months since the brutal murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer transfixed and transformed the nation, Pretlow has seen local and national Jewish organizations not only reach out to Jews of color but start to grapple with the racism that has festered for years in corners of the community…

Read the entire article here.

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AMST 3407 – Racial Borders and American Cinema

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Course Offerings, Judaism, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing, Religion, United States on 2021-09-04 00:47Z by Steven

AMST 3407 – Racial Borders and American Cinema

University of Virginia
Department of American Studies
Fall 2021

This class explores how re-occurring images of racial and ethnic minorities such as African Americans, Jews, Asians, Native Americans and Latino/as are represented in film and shows visual images of racial interactions and boundaries of human relations that tackle topics such as immigration, inter-racial relationships and racial passing.

For more information, click here.

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Black Indians and Freedmen: The African Methodist Episcopal Church and Indigenous Americans, 1816-1916

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Religion, United States on 2021-08-31 18:42Z by Steven

Black Indians and Freedmen: The African Methodist Episcopal Church and Indigenous Americans, 1816-1916

University of Illinois Press
December 2021
256 pages
6 black & white photographs, 2 maps, 3 tables
6 x 9 in.
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-252-04421-2
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-08625-0

Christina Dickerson-Cousin, Assistant Professor of History
Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut

The union of Native Americans and a black church institution

Often seen as ethnically monolithic, the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in fact successfully pursued evangelism among diverse communities of indigenous peoples and Black Indians. Christina Dickerson-Cousin tells the little-known story of the AME Church’s work in Indian Territory, where African Methodists engaged with people from the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles) and Black Indians with various ethnic backgrounds. These converts proved receptive to the historically black church due to its traditions of self-government and resistance to white hegemony, and its strong support of their interests. The ministers, guided by the vision of a racially and ethnically inclusive Methodist institution, believed their denomination the best option for the marginalized people. Dickerson-Cousin also argues that the religious opportunities opened up by the AME Church throughout the West provided another impetus for black migration.

Insightful and richly detailed, Black Indians and Freedmen illuminates how faith and empathy encouraged the unique interactions between two peoples.

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The Recovered Life of Isaac Anderson

Posted in Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, Religion, Slavery, United States on 2021-08-31 02:04Z by Steven

The Recovered Life of Isaac Anderson

University Press of Mississippi
2021-12-15
256 pages
16 b&w illustrations
Hardcover ISBN: 9781496835147
Paperback ISBN: 9781496835130

Alicia K. Jackson, Associate Professor of History
Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, Georgia

The story of an enslaved man who became a Georgia state senator, helped found a church, and led his people to promise and hope

Owned by his father, Isaac Harold Anderson (1835–1906) was born a slave but went on to become a wealthy businessman, grocer, politician, publisher, and religious leader in the African American community in the state of Georgia. Elected to the state senate, Anderson replaced his white father there, and later shepherded his people as a founding member and leader of the Colored Methodist Episcopal church. He helped support the establishment of Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee, where he subsequently served as vice president.

Anderson was instrumental in helping freed people leave Georgia for the security of progressive safe havens with significantly large Black communities in northern Mississippi and Arkansas. Eventually under threat to his life, Anderson made his own exodus to Arkansas, and then later still, to Holly Springs, Mississippi, where a vibrant Black community thrived.

Much of Anderson’s unique story has been lost to history—until now. In The Recovered Life of Isaac Anderson, author Alicia K. Jackson presents a biography of Anderson and in it a microhistory of Black religious life and politics after emancipation. A work of recovery, the volume captures the life of a shepherd to his journeying people, and of a college pioneer, a CME minister, a politician, and a former slave. Gathering together threads from salvaged details of his life, Jackson sheds light on the varied perspectives and strategies adopted by Black leaders dealing with a society that was antithetical to them and to their success.

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The Boundaries of Mixedness: A Global Perspective

Posted in Africa, Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Books, Europe, Family/Parenting, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Oceania, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Social Science, South Africa, United States on 2021-08-30 20:41Z by Steven

The Boundaries of Mixedness: A Global Perspective

Routledge
2020-10-12
164 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9780367522926
eBook ISBN: 9781003057338

Edited by:

Erica Chito Childs, Professor of Sociology
Hunter College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York

The Boundaries of Mixedness tackles the burgeoning field of critical mixed race studies, bringing together research that spans five continents and more than ten countries. Research on mixedness is growing, yet there is still much debate over what exactly mixed race means, and whether it is a useful term. Despite a growing focus on and celebration of mixedness globally, particularly in the media, societies around the world are grappling with how and why crossing socially constructed boundaries of race, ethnicity and other markers of difference matter when considering those who date, marry, raise families, or navigate their identities across these boundaries. What we find collectively through the ten studies in this book is that in every context there is a hierarchy of mixedness, both in terms of intimacy and identity. This hierarchy of intimacy renders certain groups as more or less marriable, socially constructed around race, ethnicity, caste, religion, skin color and/or region. Relatedly, there is also a hierarchy of identities where certain races, languages, ethnicities and religions are privileged and valued differently. These differences emerge out of particular local histories and contemporary contexts yet there are also global realities that transcend place and space.

The Boundaries of Mixedness is a significant new contribution to mixed race studies for academics, researchers, and advanced students of Ethnic and Racial Studies, Sociology, History and Public Policy.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Critical Mixed Race in Global Perspective: An Introduction / Erica Chito Childs
  • Hierarchies of Mixing: Navigations and Negotiations
    • 2. An Unwanted Weed: Children of Cross-region Unions Confront Intergenerational Stigma of Caste, Ethnicity and Religion / Reena Kukreja
    • 3. Mixed Race Families in South Africa: Naming and Claiming a Location / Heather Dalmage
    • 4. Negotiating the (Non)Negotiable: Connecting ‘Mixed-Race’ Identities to ‘Mixed-Race’ Families / Mengxi Pang
  • Hierarchies of Mixedness: Choices and Challenges
    • 5. Linguistic Cultural Capital Among Descendants of Mixed Couples in Catalonia, Spain: Realities and Inequalities / Dan Rodriguez-Garcia
    • 6. ‘There is Nothing Wrong with Being a Mulatto’: Structural Discrimination and Racialized Belonging in Denmark / Mira Skadegaard
    • 7. Exceptionalism with Non-Validation: The Social Inconsistencies of Being Mixed Race in Australia / Stephanie Guy
  • Mixed Matters Through a Wider Lens
    • 8. Recognising Selves in Others: Situating Dougla Manoeuverability as Shared Mixed-Race Ontology / Susan Barratt and Aleah Ranjitsingh
    • 9. What’s Love Got To Do With It? Emotional Authority and State Regulation of Interracial/National Couples in Ireland / Rebecca King-O’Riain
    • 10. Re-viewing Race and Mixedness: Mixed Race in Asia and the Pacific / Zarine Rocha
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