By Yvonne Chireau, Nathaniel Deutsch
Black Zion explores the myriad ways that African American religions have encountered Jewish traditions, ideals, and areas. The collection's unifying argument is that faith is the lacking piece of the cultural jigsaw puzzle, that a lot of the hot turmoil in black-Jewish family members will be larger understood, if now not alleviated, if the spiritual roots of these family have been illuminated. towards that finish, the members glance a couple of provocative issues, together with the idea that of the selected humans, the typological identity of blacks with Jews, the particular id of blacks as Jews, the sacredness of area and emblems, the significance of scriptural interpretation in growing theology and self knowing, the dialectic of exile and redemption in communal historical past, and the mixing of ethnicity and faith in developing crew identification. starting from the country of Islam to the Hebrew Israelites and from Abraham Joshua Heschel to Martin Luther King, Jr., the publication sheds mild on a bit tested yet very important measurement of black-Jewish family in the USA: faith.
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Extra resources for Black Zion: African American Religious Encounters with Judaism (Religion in America)
5 SteinEvers had had a rough go of it among blacks, because she made so few concessions to the trappings of African American culture. " Lucidly, a black friend intervened to protect her. "All my life I've been told, 'Why don't you talk like black people; why don't you dress like black people; why don't you believe like black people,' " Stein-Evers said. ' But 1 wasn't trying to be white. " In this respect, there was clearly a stark contrast between the life experience of Stein-Evers and that of Rabbi Funnye, who was born into a family of African Methodist Episcopalians in South Carolina and grew up in black Chicago.
Charles Long, Significations: Signs, Symbols, and Images in the Interpretation of Religion (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986), p. 179. The Hebrew Bible was also a source of inspiration for black resistance, as seen in the conspiracies of Gabriel Prosser, Nat Turner, and Denmark Vesey, in which Old Testament verses were read and interpreted by African Americans for their subversive antislavery meanings. See Timothy L. Smith, "Slavery and Theology: The Emergence of Black Christian Consciousness in Nineteenth-Century America," Church History, 41, no.
Funnye fervently believed it was incumbent on the Jewish establishment to meet the Nation of Islam halfway. Although the alliance adopted Funnye's conciliatory approach, some of its members felt distinctly squeamish about Farrakhan. Michelle Stein-Evers, one of the driving forces behind the creation of the alliance,4 was uncompromising in her hostility toward him. In lengthy conversations many months before the Chicago meeting she had condemned Farrakhan as harshly as any white Jew would have. "He's got an interesting tailor, but the structure of his soul needs working on," said SteinEvers, who became the alliance's co-chair for membership.