© 2023 People of Color in Independent Schools
As we approach the commemoration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. next week, we are pleased to announce that we will be hosting Rap Sessions, Beyond Kanye and Kyrie: Renewing the Historic Black-Jewish Alliance with Bakari Kitwana on Tuesday, Jan. 17, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Commons at SI. This timely and relevant engagement will be a panel discussion featuring, , , and (SI class of ’06) moderated by . As a Catholic, Jesuit institution we find it critical to our mission to engage in conversation around interreligious relationships and racial justice in order to promote the protection of human dignity and advocating for community and belonging.
Anti-Semitism is resurgent in America. Timeworn tropes and ancient hatreds are being recycled and mainstreamed in alarming ways – and amplified by some of the most visible people in the culture. And while this resurgence cannot and should not be blamed on Black people, to many, the face of anti-Semitism in 2022 looks like Kanye West. It looks like Kyrie Irving.
The history of Blacks and Jews in America is a long one, by turns fraught and beautiful, and it is imperative that the lines of communication and collaboration between these two communities be renewed. So, too, is it important to realize the ways in which they overlap– not just in terms of shared spaces or values, but literally: there are Black Jews, and their voices must be heard. There is history that needs unpacking, from the alliance that helped birth the Civil Rights movement to the way that alliance dissolved in the 1980s, amidst accusations of Jewish abandonment and Black anti-Semitism.