Abstract

This article examines journalism on Harlem's Black Jews in Ashkenazic and African American newspapers in the interwar years. While Jewish reporters approached Black Jews incredulously and enquired about their true origins, black papers described them in matter-of-fact tones. These disparate journalistic attitudes reflected the two communities' different understandings of the connection between "black" and "Jew." They also stemmed from the unequal opportunities facing the groups during a period of transformation in American ethnoracial classifications. Jews, on the cusp of "becoming white" in mainstream eyes, sought to distinguish themselves from black people, while blacks, confined to the base of the racial hierarchy, received the sects with racial solidarity.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6490
Print ISSN
0003-0678
Pages
pp. 179-225
Launched on MUSE
2003-06-16
Open Access
No
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