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Blacks and Jews in America

This course offered a constructive, interdisciplinary approach to examining the competing and overlapping ways Blacks and Jews in America imagine, cultivate, and perform their religious and cultural identities. Although the groups emerge in the American context with unique histories and traditions, there is an overwhelming popular belief that Blacks and Jews share, at least historically, a special relationship. The course explored the nature of this relationship and investigate the religious and social intersectionality of Black and Jewish imaginations within the context of antiblack racism and anti-Semitism. Using primary, secondary, visual, and material resources, students investigated how Blacks and Jews retrieve religion, tradition, and ethics to interrogate, explore, and, in some cases, expand definitions of democracy, political liberalism, freedom, citizenship, and community. This class (AFAM 140) was taught by Terrence Johnson as a Doyle Seminar (small upper-level classes that foster deepened student learning about diversity and difference through research and dialogue).

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Terrence L. Johnson headshot

Terrence L. Johnson

Senior Research Fellow
Department of Government