Cover image for Bridges and boundaries : African Americans and American Jews
Bridges and boundaries : African Americans and American Jews
Salzman, Jack.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : George Braziller, 1992.
Physical Description:
271 pages : illustrations ; 27 cm
General Note:
"George Braziller in association with the Jewish Museum."
Parallels and divergences : assimilationist strategies of Afro-American and Jewish elites from 1910 to the early 1930s / David Levering Lewis -- Blacks and Jews in the civil rights movement : the case of SNCC / Clayborne Carson -- Blacks and Jews : the uncivil war / Taylor Branch -- A fear beyond escaping / Irving Howe -- Anti-Negroism among Jews / Louis Harap -- Anti-Semitism among Negroes / L.D. Reddick -- What happens to them happens to me / Abraham J. Heschel -- What happens to them happens to me / Martin Luther King, Jr. -- Candor about Negro-Jewish relations / Kenneth B. Clark -- Negroes and Jews : the new challenge to pluralism / Nathan Glazer -- My Negro problem, and ours / Norman Podhoretz.

Negroes and Jews : the two nationalisms and the bloc(ked) plurality / Harold Cruse -- Blacks and Jews : different kinds of survival / Letty Cottin Pogrebin -- Between a rock and a hard place : relationships between Black and Jewish women / Barbara Smith -- A conversation between Cornel West and Michael Lerner -- Bridges and boundaries : a visual essay / Gretchen Sullivan Sorin with Beth Klopott and Julie Reiss -- Historical chronology / Beth Klopott.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E185.61 .B825 1992 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



While no single volume can fully explain this issue, Bridges and Boundaries: African Americans and American Jews provides us with a means to challenge, and perhaps even to verify, our sense of the past - and in so doing to better understand the present. Fifteen critical essays by leading historians, scholars, and political and religious figures of this century provide historical overviews of the relationships between African Americans and American Jews. They also represent the diverse attitudes within the two groups, and reflect the multiple voices that have themselves shaped these attitudes. A visual essay that follows links texts and images of more than one hundred works of art and artifacts, first seen in an exhibit at The Jewish Museum, to explore the historical places at which the paths of African Americans and American Jews have crossed in meaningful ways during this century.

Author Notes

Irving Howe was born in the Bronx, New York on June 11, 1920. He became a socialist at the age of 14. He graduated from City College in 1940. During World War II, he served in the Army. After the war, he began writing book reviews and essays for several magazines including Commentary, The Nation, and Partisan Review. For four years, he earned a living writing book reviews for Time magazine. He taught English at several colleges including Brandeis University, Stanford University, Hunter College, and City University, which he retired from in 1986.

In 1954, he and a group of close friends founded the radical journal Dissent. He was the editor for nearly four decades. Also in the 1950's, he met a Yiddish poet named Eliezer Greenberg and the two began a long project to translate Yiddish prose and poetry into English, eventually publishing six collections of stories, essays, and poems.

He wrote several books including Decline of the New, Politics and the Novel, and an autobiography entitled A Margin of Hope. World of Our Fathers won the National Book Award in 1976. He wrote critical studies of William Faulkner and Sherwood Anderson and a biography of Leon Trotsky. He died of cardiovascular disease on May 5, 1993 at the age of 72.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

With contributions by black and Jewish scholars, journalists and leaders, this illustrated companion volume to a traveling exhibition is a Milquetoast of a work. It busies itself with glorifying a black-Jewish common history of suffering, persecution and dedication to civil rights and with generally bemoaning the present rift between the two communities, but on the whole it pussyfoots around recent thornier displays of black-Jewish animosity. In linked 1964 articles, Abraham Joshua Heschel and Martin Luther King Jr. commit themselves to the dual causes of civil rights and Soviet Jewry; David Levering Lewis's 1984 piece focuses on the assimilationist strategies of black and Jewish elites from 1910 to the early 1930s; in a 1963 essay, then-liberal Norman Podhoretz exudes guilt over his hatred and fear of blacks; and a 1984 piece by Barbara Smith reveals how uncomfortable black feminists are with opposing anti-Semitism. Taylor Branch's sharp 1989 dissection of black-Jewish tensions in Chicago is an anomaly here; more telling is the absence of analyses of the 1991 murder of Yankel Rosenbaum in Brooklyn's Crown Heights and City College professor Leonard Jeffries's anti-Semitic remarks, also that year. Salzman directs Columbia University's Center for American Culture Studies. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Over the last 25 years there has been a widening schism in relations between the African American and American Jewish communities. This volume, a collaborative effort between the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and New York's Jewish Museum that accompanies an exhibit, examines the prominent question of how and why the strong alliance for social justice among blacks and Jews in the United States began to disintegrate in the 1960s. A related issue is whether that alliance actually existed. Fifteen essays, authored by noted political and religious leaders, historians, and scholars, open with a historical overview and then continue with dialogs from African Americans and American Jews discussing current group attitudes and how these attitudes developed. Over 100 historically significant visual images link the text to the common experience of both groups. A valuable purchase for race relations collections in academic and public libraries alike.-- Michael A. Lutes, Univ. of Notre Dame Lib., Ind. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.