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Black Jews in Africa and the Americas (Nathan I. Huggins Lectures)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Black Jews in Africa and the Americas tells the fascinating story of how the Ashanti, Tutsi, Igbo, Zulu, Beta Israel, Maasai, and many other African peoples came to think of themselves as descendants of the ancient tribes of Israel. Pursuing medieval and modern European race narratives over a millennium in which not only were Jews cast as black but black Africans were cast as Jews, Tudor Parfitt reveals a complex history of the interaction between religious and racial labels and their political uses.

For centuries, colonialists, travelers, and missionaries, in an attempt to explain and understand the strange people they encountered on the colonial frontier, labeled an astonishing array of African tribes, languages, and cultures as Hebrew, Jewish, or Israelite. Africans themselves came to adopt these identities as their own, invoking their shared histories of oppression, imagined blood-lines, and common traditional practices as proof of a racial relationship to Jews.

Beginning in the post-slavery era, contacts between black Jews in America and their counterparts in Africa created powerful and ever-growing networks of black Jews who struggled against racism and colonialism. A community whose claims are denied by many, black Jews have developed a strong sense of who they are as a unique people. In Parfitt's telling, forces of prejudice and the desire for new racial, redemptive identities converge, illuminating Jewish and black history alike in novel and unexplored ways.

Synopsis:

Parfitt explains how many African peoples came to think of themselves as descendants of the ancient tribes of Israel. Pursuing medieval and modern race narratives over a millennium in which Jews were cast as black and black Africans were cast as Jews, he reveals a complex interaction between religious and racial labels and their political uses.

About the Author

Tudor Parfitt is Professor of Modern Jewish Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674066984
Author:
Parfitt, Tudor
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
World History-Africa
Subject:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Black Studies (Global)
Subject:
HISTORY / Africa/General
Subject:
History - United States/General
Subject:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Discrimination & Race Relations
Subject:
Histo
Subject:
RY / Africa / General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Cloth
Series:
The Nathan I. Huggins Lectures
Series Volume:
2
Publication Date:
20130231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8 x 6 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Racism and Ethnic Conflict
History and Social Science » Sociology » Black Studies (Global)
History and Social Science » Sociology » Jewish Studies
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Africa
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Black Jews in Africa and the Americas (Nathan I. Huggins Lectures) New Hardcover
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Product details 240 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674066984 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Parfitt explains how many African peoples came to think of themselves as descendants of the ancient tribes of Israel. Pursuing medieval and modern race narratives over a millennium in which Jews were cast as black and black Africans were cast as Jews, he reveals a complex interaction between religious and racial labels and their political uses.
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