Black Zion: African American Religious Encounters with by Yvonne Chireau, Nathaniel Deutsch

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 new turmoil in black-Jewish kin will be greater understood, if no longer alleviated, if the spiritual roots of these family members have been illuminated. towards that finish, the members glance a couple of provocative subject matters, together with the concept that of the selected humans, the typological id of blacks with Jews, the particular identity of blacks as Jews, the sacredness of house and logos, the significance of scriptural interpretation in developing theology and self knowing, the dialectic of exile and redemption in communal historical past, and the combination of ethnicity and faith in developing team identification. starting from the country of Islam to the Hebrew Israelites and from Abraham Joshua Heschel to Martin Luther King, Jr., the booklet sheds gentle on a bit tested yet extremely important measurement of black-Jewish kin in the United States: faith.

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21. More recent works that argue for widespread Judaic and Israelite influences in African religion include Yoseph A. A. ben-Jochannan, We the Black Jews, vols. 1 and 2, (Baltimore: Black Classics Press, 1993); Jose V. , 1971); and Steven Jacobs, The Hebrew Heritage of Black Africa (Philadelphia: Boldlee Publishing, 1976). 22. : Yale University Press, 1951), p. x. In 1949 Leslau first published his research on Ethiopian Judaism, called "The Black Jews of Ethiopia," in Commentary 7 (1949), 216-24, and later, Falasha Anthology, which made available to an English-speaking readership the writings of the Ethiopian Jewish community, including the Torah and other apocryphal literature written in Ge'ez, the ancient language of Ethiopia.

The slaves believed themselves to be another Israel, a people who toiled in the "Egypt" of North America but who were providentially guided by the same God who had led the Jews into the Promised Land. Projecting their own lives into Old Testament accounts, African Americans recast their destiny in terms of the consummation of a divine drama, the event of the Exodus. For African Americans, notes historian of religions Charles Long in Significations: Signs, Symbols, and Images in the Interpretation of Religion (1986), the Exodus was powerfully invested with religious meaning.

As folklorists, ethnomusicologists, and historians have shown, African American spirituals are an unparalleled source for comprehending the interior modes and meanings of black religion. 8. Levine, Black Culture and Black Consciousness, p. 32. : Princeton University Press, 1979), pp. 125-26. On the figure of Moses in black culture, see John Roberts, From Trickster to Badman: The Black Folk Hero in Slavery and Freedom (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989). 9. On the black jeremiad, see Wilson J.

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