The Caged Bird Tweets of Freedom

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The silohuette of a bird midflight appears against the backdrop of clouds colored by the light of the setting sun. (Photo by Bianca Ackermann on Unsplash)

The art of braiding, as engaged with in both theory and practice, ties me to my roots.

As reported by Essence magazine in 2018, “Braids are more than mere aesthetics. They bind us together. They are an integral part of Black culture — past, present and future.”¹ Consequently, the politics, ethics, culture, and aesthetics of Black hair have been examined by artists, theorists, and writers for centuries. From imagery depicting braided hairstyles in ancient African art to oral histories depicting the navigation-based role of patterned plaits in manumission movements, braids’ importance in transnational Black history is not new.

While contemporary conversations and debates about Black hair, particularly with respect to braids, are often centered around racist policies and the complex nature of misogynoir, kinship and identity are the primary social phenomena to which braids are related. Rooted in a deep and expansive diasporic history, braids illuminate a meaningful fact of being. A meaningful fact one can weave into narratives about Black culture and Jewish ritual. For, like braids in Black culture, Shabbat challah is tied to diasporic tradition and practice. Be that as it may, the present inquiry won’t examine this particular comparison any further given the scope of the paper though I intend to expand on this topic further elsewhere in the future given the fact that this particular train of thought crosses my mind often when I braid my hair or my challah dough.

For now I will focus on the fact of Jewish Blackness, in an anti-Black and antisemitic world, and the ways in which evolving technologies have impacted community-building for Black Jews on a global scale. To clarify, I am not referring to people belonging to the Hebrew Israelites movement: a militant group of often antisemitic religious extremists, unaffiliated with the mainstream Jewish community who, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, believe that “when the Kingdom of Israel was destroyed, the Israelites were first scattered across the African continent and then selectively targeted by enemy African tribes who captured and sold them to European slave traders for bondage in the New World.”

When I reference Black Jews I am specifically referring to members of the African diaspora who 1) are Jewish and participate in religious practice in adherence to the laws and customs of either Reform, Conservative, Orthodox or Reconstructionist Judaism, 2) identify as someone who is spiritually or culturally Jewish regardless of affiliation with any specific denomination of Judaism, or 3) are at any stage in the process of converting to Judaism.

The present inquiry seeks to contribute to the growing bodies of literature on Jewish Feminism, Black Feminism, and Africana Philosophy by introducing a new concept that, I argue, engages with key themes in the literature of each in a way that accounts for the impact of anti-Blackness in Jewish scholarship, antisemitism in Black scholarship, and general erasure of Black Jews in contemporary scholarship belonging to all three: Afro-Jewish Feminism (AJF).

I define AJF as a philosophy that centers the lived experiences and ideas of Black Jews, emphasizes the need for and contributes to the development of equitable projects of anti-ecocidal world-repair, and aim to bring about the conditions of possibility for the dismantling of oppressive systems.² AJF can describe people, movements, theories, frameworks, practices, and modes of praxis as long as they meet the previously defined criteria. AJF builds on the work of Marla Brettschneider by “[situating] Jewish feminist queer thinking within the philosophical discussion of intersectionality and mutual construction,”³ Joyce Antler by “making the Jewish component of the radical feminist movement visible,”⁴ Kimberle Crenshaw by theorizing outside of the confines of a “single-issue framework,”⁵ and Lewis Gordon by involving “theoretical questions raised by critical engagements with ideas in Africana cultures and their hybrid, mixed, or creolized forms worldwide.”⁶

As previously mentioned, the present inquiry will, within an AJF framework, focus specifically on the ways in which evolving technologies have impacted community-building for Black Jews on a global scale. Particularly, I aim to highlight the ways in which deliberately-curated digital spaces offer Black Jews 1) ways of transcending spatiotemporal boundaries that often limit the scope and range of meaningful forms of connection with other Black Jews and 2) multiple modes of resisting oppressive forces, persisting against overwhelming odds, and flourishing in a way that honors their full identities. I will not extensively cover specific intra-community debates. Nor will I deeply engage with issues related to, what Serene Khader refers to as, missionary feminism.⁷

My primary object of inquiry exists on Twitter — a social networking site on which users can create, share, and engage with “tweets,” microblogs composed of 280 characters or less, that are published in real time 24/7 — in the form of a hashtag: #BlackShabbat.⁸

Originally created by Black Jewish writer and filmmaker Rebecca Pierce⁹ in the form of a thread of tweets, #BlackShabbat has developed into an AJF digital archive and community space where Black Jews from around the world share information, resources, testimonies. By existing in a digital space it allows community members to transcend spatiotemporal boundaries that often limit the scope and range of meaningful forms of connection with other Black Jews.¹⁰ By encouraging transnational, intra-community engagement and idea exchange it exposes Black Jews to multiple modes of resisting oppressive forces, persisting against overwhelming odds, and flourishing in a way that honors their full identities.¹¹ #BlackShabbat is an infinitely multiplying technocultural assemblage that allows Black Jews to network “across virtual and actual worlds.”¹² #BlackShabbat is where caged birds tweet of freedom.¹³

Jwitter, a portmanteau of Jewish and Twitter, offers Jewish people on Twitter a “fruitful space for conversation regarding certain topics such as identity” and a “platform for both identity formation and discussion.”¹⁴ #BlackShabbat signals to Black Jews on Twitter specifically and offers digital “access to strategies for living, to knowing how to dodge or survive oppressive circumstances.”¹⁵ The initial invitation for engagement with #BlackShabbat was tweeted in three parts by Rebecca Pierce and was shared over 500 times and “liked” by nearly 2,000 Twitter users:

This has been a stressful week in the Jewish community, and especially so for Black Jews facing racist harassment. This Friday I’m asking the Jewish community and allies to show support for Black Jews so we can go into Shabbat with some positivity. Use the hashtag #BlackShabbat

Black Jews: What does our community mean to you? What do our ancestors/history have to offer? What stories are you excited to share? Who are the Black Jewish folks makin you proud? What do you wish people know about us? Tweet it out using the hashtag #BlackShabbat

Allies: Who are some Black Jewish voices you’ve been lucky to learn from? What have they taught you? How are you committing to uplifting their voices? How will you fight anti-Black racism in Jewish communities? Tweet it out using the hashtag #BlackShabbat¹⁶

There were countless tweets shared in response to Pierce’s invitation. I will categorize them as belonging to one, or more, of three types: testimony (the original author of the tweet is a Black Jew describing some aspect of their lived experience as a Black Jew), solidarity (the original author of the tweet is a Jewish person belonging to any race expressing a commitment to, what Tommie Shelby refers to as, “emancipatory group solidarity” with intent to build community and empower “group self-determination” and “collective self-realization”¹⁷), and/or historical (the tweet presents information about some fact related to the history of Black Jews).¹⁸ The following table, Figure 1, displays examples of different #BlackShabbat tweets that highlight the range of content showcased and the categories of tweet type to which they belong:

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Figure 1: “T” corresponds to the category “testimony,” “S” corresponds to the category “solidarity,” and “H” corresponds to the category “historical.”

Despite the fact that I did not categorize each tweet in Figure 1 as “Historical,” I contend that every #BlackShabbat tweet is essentially of a historical quality given the archival properties of social media platforms.¹⁹ For the intents and purpose of the present inquiry I want to highlight the distinct variations in types of tweets associated with #BlackShabbat.

As shown in Figure 1, #BlackShabbat is associated with tweets that range in terms of content and engagement levels. From questions concerning cross-cultural linguistic similarities to short lessons about the history of Black Jewish abolitionists to compassionate tweets of affirmation, #BlackShabbat highlights the fact that hashtags are “more than descriptive tags and more than mere slogans,” they are essentially “the semiotic units of a new form of rhetoric.”²⁰ Put simply, Jwitter uses #BlackShabbat to engage in collective knowledge-production and meaning-making with Black Jews at the forefront of creation.

In her critique of Tommie Shelby’s conceptualization of Black solidarity, Patricia Hill Collins noted the following:

“We Who Are Dark” might also benefit from a more comprehensive dialogue with social science understandings of ethnicity and culture. Viewing black identity and culture solely through philosophical understandings of race limits Shelby’s ability to grapple with questions of how racism routinely uses culture. In his quest to prove that blacks constitute a political community linked by shared oppression, Shelby downplays the significance of cultural affiliation for political solidarity. He examines ethnicity and culture primarily through the lens of black cultural nationalism and/or contemporary cultural studies, and thus downplays the significance of ethnicity within U.S. politics. Its as if Shelby is saying that Jews should have nothing in common, save a political identity dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism and protecting Israel; yet no one expects Jews to ignore issues of culture and ethnicity. One need not choose — black Americans are simultaneously a racially oppressed group and an ethnic group with cultural affiliations. Yet Shelby’s argument against a uniform black culture leaves little room for imagining how culture might frame pragmatic black politics,” (Collins, 2009).²¹

For the sake of scope, I won’t go into detail about that ways in which Collins’ reference to Jews perpetuates a characterization of Jewish identity politics that doesn’t adequately engage with diasporic studies of multicultural and multiethnic Jews or Black Jews generally, even if it is intended to highlight flaws in Shelby’s work, but I want to draw attention to the fact that her inclusion of Jews in her example is poorly executed give its own lack of comprehensive dialogue with social science understandings of ethnicity and culture. The comparison hypothetical could have been eliminated entirely and carried much more weight. Still, her critique of Shelby’s conceptualization of Black identity and culture draws attention to the complex nature of identity, ethnicity, political solidarity, political community, and nationalism within a global context.

For Black Jews, and when it comes to issues related to Black Jews, personal experiences with questions concerning identity, ethnicity, political solidarity, political community, and nationalism vary across time and space. Not to mention according to how one develops — with respect to self-identity, personal opinions, beliefs, and allegiance — within and in relation to the different social groups to which they belong. #BlackShabbat unites Black Jews at different stages of personal development as Black people, as Jews, as marginalized people within an already marginalized group, etc.

#BlackShabbat is a site of community-building, education, and resistance that archives the diverse lived realities of Black Jews in real-time.

In Black/Female/Body Hypervisibility and Invisibility: A Black Feminist Augmentation of Feminist Leisure Research the authors examine the dialectical relationship between Black women’s hypervisibility and invisibility.²² They “unpack the intersectional experiences of race and gender specifically pertaining to Black women’s bodies and social politics” and examine how “[Black women’s] lack of presence as research participants and as researchers” creates a dynamic that renders them both unseen and unheard yet susceptible to commodification.²³ Black women’s bodies are the site of both erasure and consumption. They are “invisible through the consequences of systemic sexism and racism” yet hypervisualized in “social and intellectual “ghettoes.”

When Jewish and diverse gender identities are factored into this formulation, complexities abound. Especially considering how Black bodies, often against the will of the people to whom the bodies belong, are gendered and how Jewish bodies are raced. I must note, however, that the digital hypervisibility of Black Jews on Twitter is an act of choice. Black Jews opt-in to participate in #BlackShabbat with intent to connect and build community in a way that often isn’t possible offline. Participation is an act of resistance. Participation negates erasure. #BlackShabbat unites Black Jwitter and ushers Black Jews out of the era of mass invisibility.

Exactly twenty-eight years before the creation of #BlackShabbat, the Crown Heights Riots in Brooklyn, New York, were nearing their end. Historian Edward S. Shapiro referred to the riots as “one of the most serious incidents of antisemitism in American history.”²⁴

During the tail end of the riots NY Daily News reported that “violent clashes among blacks, Hasidic Jews and cops rocked Brooklyn’s Crown Heights section [the day before the article was published], 24 hours after a station wagon carrying Hasidic Jews ran down and killed a black child and critically injured another.”²⁵ In 2011, Jeffrey Goldberg wrote in the Atlantic that “the lengths the [New York Times] went to prove that a riot that was antisemitic on its face wasn’t, in fact, antisemitic” were “astonishing,”²⁶ and cited the following criticism of the coverage written by former Times reporter Ari Goldman:

My job was to file memos to the main “rewrite” reporters back in the Times office in Manhattan about what I saw and heard. We had no laptops or cellphones in those days so the other reporters and I went to payphones and dictated our memos to a waiting band of stenographers in the home office…Yet, when I picked up the paper, the article I read was not the story I had reported. I saw headlines that described the riots in terms solely of race. “Two Deaths Ignite Racial Clash in Tense Brooklyn Neighborhood,” the Times headline said. And, worse, I read an opening paragraph, what journalists call a “lead,” that was simply untrue:

“Hasidim and blacks clashed in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn through the day and into the night yesterday.” In all my reporting during the riots I never saw — or heard of — any violence by Jews against blacks. But the Times was dedicated to this version of events: blacks and Jews clashing amid racial tensions. To show Jewish culpability in the riots, the paper even ran a picture — laughable even at the time — of a chasidic man brandishing an open umbrella before a police officer in riot gear. The caption read: “A police officer scuffling with a Hasidic man yesterday on President Street.”

I was outraged but I held my tongue. I was a loyal Times employee and deferred to my editors….But then I reached my breaking point. On Aug. 21, as I stood in a group of chasidic men in front of the Lubavitch headquarters, a group of demonstrators were coming down

Eastern Parkway​. “Heil Hitler,” they chanted. “Death to the Jews.” Police in riot gear stood nearby but did nothing.

The fact that police in riot gear stood nearby and did nothing, as people they were hired to serve and protect suffered injuries to their bodies and psyches, raises awareness about the primary source of harm in cases involving terror against Black people and Jewish people, whether at the systemic or interpersonal level: white violence.

Lewis Gordon, during a 2016 philosophy workshop at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology I attended, referred to police officers as the “exemplars of state violence” and that descriptor has stayed with me ever since.²⁷ The “exemplar” qualifier suggests the existence of non-exemplars that also carry out violent acts on behalf of the state but the ways in which they carry out those acts differ. Police can commit and organize extrajudicial killings, abuse and terrorize people in chronically disenfranchised communities, and uphold white supremacy all while avoiding blame or consequences due to qualified immunity in legal cases and unjust power structures in all cases.

Journalists, educators, medical professionals, and public intellectuals can also carry out violent acts on behalf of the state. They may not be the exemplars of state violence but they can work in service of violent states. With respect to inter-community conflict between Black and Jewish communities, ahistorical and ill-informed critiques, analyses, and understandings of Blackness, Jewishness, and the ways they intersect tend to inform mainstream discussions. Intra-community dialogue about these topics is crucial to changing this.

The long history of violence against Jewish people and violence against Black people, and those who exists at the intersections, shed light on the complex nature of genocide and its relationship to global white violence. Tools of repression, necropolitical city planning, and massive investments in widespread propaganda campaigns serve as complex mechanisms acting in service of state violence and white supremacy. In the present day, the main targets of these acts of violence are Black people.²⁸ Some of whom are also Jewish.

Given the fact that antisemitism functions at interpersonal and systemic levels, in different ways depending on geopolitical and other factors, in a world that still fails to address the long-standing impact that the Nazi regime had on the world, there is potential for the development of an extensive body of literature that critically analyzes how white violence is perpetuated via genocidal regimes that directly impact Black and Jewish people at the interpersonal, systemic, and structural levels.

The Crown Heights Riots, and countless other inter-community conflicts framed as race wars between two unrelated social groups, were the tragic result of misplaced anger. The true sources of blame were white violence, systemic inequity, sociopolitical illiteracy stemming from lack of city investment in culturally-competent educational resources, and ignorance amongst people within Black and Jewish communities often linked to misunderstandings about one’s relation to dominant forces. To many people in Black communities and in Jewish communities, Black Jews don’t exist and ideas about the threat of state violence lack nuance.

Black Jews are often an afterthought in conversations about what it’s like to be Black in an anti-Black world and conversations about what it’s like to be Jewish in an antisemitic world. When you factor in how gender, sexual orientation, nation of origin, disability status, body type, and skin tone factor into the lived experience of Black Jews the importance of testimony-sharing is abundantly clear.

Unfortunately, there are countless barriers that prevent Black Jews from accessing spaces in which they feel safe to share their experiences with complete honesty and transparency. From rampant anti-Blackness in Jewish spaces to rampant antisemitism in Black spaces, and the myriad other forms of discrimination and manifestations of epistemic injustice that prevent Black Jews from entering and engaging in certain spaces, there are countless barriers to participating in necessary conversations and movements aimed at liberation and education.

The mere thought of having to pass through an armed guard of police officers in order to access the inside of a synagogue sends shivers down my spine and sparks immediate fear and trembling. But in the wake of the tragic Tree of Life shooting the presence of police in and outside of Jewish places of worship is often a possibility. Nylah Burton wrote for Alma that:

In the face of such an evil event, and in a time of rising white nationalism and anti-Semitism amid a history-making election season, it’s perfectly understandable to want to protect Jewish communities from attacks. But arming synagogues by increasing police presence or having concealed weapons will not protect Jewish communities. It will further endanger them, especially Jews of Color.

She went on to add that:

it’s not just Black Jews or Jews of Color who will be affected. People with mental illnesses and intellectual/development disabilities are often brutalized by law enforcement officers, who may interpret signs of distress as signs of impending violence. Individuals with visual or hearing impairments may have trouble communicating with officers or interpreting the officers’ cues, leading to potentially fatal and traumatizing interactions. Additionally, police officers have been known to show increased brutality towards LGBTQ individuals — particularly those who identify as transgender.

Burton’s assessment highlights the dangers Black Jews face that often serve as barriers to accessing spaces intended for Jews. Intended for them. In my own experience, as a former Orthodox Jew who left my community due to rampant racism, finding a space where I felt safe to show up as my authentic self had been a difficult journey. Even though I live in a city with one of the highest populations of Jewish people in the world, I still feel lonely as a Black Jew. Well, I did. Until I discovered #BlackShabbat. An online community of Black Jews created with the specific intent to empower and unite Black Jews, not just highlight the fact that we are Black and Jewish.

#BlackShabbat introduced me to the world of Black Jwitter and I know I’m not alone in my appreciation for the community-building elements of the platform as such. When I tweeted into the blesséd void asking whether or not Twitter had changed or impacted anyone’s relationship to Judaism, the Jewish community, or their identity generally I received responses that echo many of the sentiments I’ve expressed over the last several pages.

One user tweeted that “having such a tight and loving Black Jewish community really changed [her] life. [Black Jews on Twitter] have helped [her] become more comfortable with [her] identity and as a result [she’s] felt empowered to take on more mitzvot and live even more jewishly than [she] would’ve if [she] hadn’t met [us].” Another user tweeted that “[they] have been brought closer to [their] Jewish identity through the people and community [they’ve] created for [themself] on [Twitter]. without it, [they] would be at a total loss for identity and [they don’t know] what [they] would be doing.”

On the topic of intersectional self-reflection one user tweeted that “[they’ve] really come to terms w [their] own privilege, honestly. [they’ve] encountered so little antisemitism in comparison to many of [their] peers and [they] also grew up going to a camp for Jewish kids of color. [their] mom is also a Black Jew and having someone like her to raise [them] definitely helped.”

Finally, another user, but not the final person to have responded, shared that “[Twitter] put [them] in contact with exponentially more Black Jewish people, which has been a blessing. [They] also became more unapologetic about being Black in Jewish spaces, and now [they] take up space in Jewish life both on and offline.” It is evident that #BlackShabbat does more than just unite Black Jwitter. It offers a marginalized group of people, at the intersections of other marginalized groups, a space to connect with people with shared experiences. It bridges gaps via the global reach of the digital world. It provides real-time engagement and community-building at every moment of every day. It gives an often alienated and erased group of people an opportunity to bond, connect, learn from each other, and share strategies for navigating oppressive systems that impact them in unique ways.

For people who are #BlackAndJewish on Twitter, especially those who live in parts of the world where they may be the only Black Jew for many miles, #BlackShabbat offers a space for recognition and empathy-driven communication. #BlackShabbat highlights the emancipatory possibilities of AJF thought. #BlackShabbat transforms thoughtful tweets into a swan song for erasure and alienation while creating the conditions of possibility for transnational connection that highlights the extensive root systems of diaspora.

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[1] Dirshe, Siraad. Respect Our Roots: A Brief History Of Our Braids. Essence, 27 June 2018.

[2] Elsewhere I define “anti-ecocidal” as “moral principles, theories, or frameworks that impact and inform our beliefs and behavior in such a way that we feel compelled to actively avoid harming the planet” and “include environment justice in every aspect of [one’s] planning, thinking, imagining, organizing, mobilizing, and direct action,” (Cruz, 2020). This is deeply informed by the meaning embedded in the phrase tikkun olam; a Jewish concept most easily defined as our shared responsibility, as humans, to repair and improve our broken world via deliberate, justice-centered acts.

[3] Brettschneider, Marla. Jewish Feminism and Intersectionality. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2017.

[4] Antler, Joyce. Jewish Radical Feminism: Voices from the Women’s Liberation Movement. New York: New York University Press, 2018.

[5] Crenshaw, Kimberle. Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum: Vol. 1989, Article 8, 1989.

[6] Gordon, L. An Introduction to Africana Philosophy, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

[7] In Decolonizing Universalism: A Transnational Feminist Ethic, Khader argues that “feminism requires universalist opposition to sexist oppression, but feminism does not require universal adoption of Western — or, more specifically, what I will call Enlightenment liberal — values and strategies.” (Missionary feminism, whether intentionally or otherwise, does require the universal adoption of Western values and strategies). She also insists that “moral epistemologies of some Islamic feminist movements demonstrate the compatibility of genuine feminist commitments with traditionalist worldviews” and that “one need not be a secular person, or lead a secular life, to be a feminist.” I echo her sentiments and aim to build on her work while centering a particular Jewish feminist movement.

[8] As explained by Ágnes Veszelszki in #Time, #Truth, #Tradition: An Image-Text Relationship on Instagram: Photo and Hashtag, “a hashtag is a type of label or metadata tag primarily used on social networking websites and microblogging services. It makes it easier for users to find content of the same topic. Hashtags are created by inserting the hash character (#)1 in front of a word or unspaced phrase,” (Veszelszki, 2016).

[9] Pierce is known on Twitter by the username, or “handle,” @aptly_engineerd.

[10] This is not to say that there aren’t still accessibility issues that impact participation and engagement. That discussion is not within the scope of this paper but I do plan to examine that further elsewhere.

[11] Given the politically diverse composition of community members, conversations that highlight anti-imperialist, anti-state conceptions of community-building and identity-formation also occur. Further, the diversity leads to unique shared testimonies that inspire or otherwise impact others in a deeply meaningful way and highlight the fact that Black Jews are not a monolith. The richness and vibrancy of diverse Black Jewish lives thrives on full display, encased in the amber of the digital archive.

[12] In You Ok Sis?”: Black Vernacular, Community Formation, and the Innate Tensions of the Hashtag, Paige Johnson argues that hashtags “function as (technocultural) assemblages due to how they network people together across virtual and actual worlds” and “can be taken up and used for almost any purpose that aligns with the hashtag originator’s intent or greatly deviates from that intent” in a way that allows them to multiply infinitely, (Johnson, 2019).

[13] The “caged bird” is in reference to the primary subject in Maya Angelou’s Caged Bird.

[14] This is Dorothy Lee Goehring’s description of social networks as it appears in Muslim Women on the Internet: Social Media as Sites of Identity Formation.

[15] Marisa Parham, 2019.

[16] Pierce later tweeted the following “ground rules”: “Center Black Jews — Respect their identities and narratives — Before you post *anything* to the hashtag, ask “How is this supporting Black Jews?” — Be positive, but give folks room to work thru tough stuff — Don’t make this about people who’ve harmed us.” Hence, the inclusion of questions aimed at “allies.” A discussion about the inclusion of “allies” is not within the scope of this paper but I do plan to examine that further elsewhere.

[17] Tommie Shelby, 2005. See the sections on collective identity theory.

[18] Non-Jewish people do use the hashtag as well but I am not centering their usage in the present inquiry.

[19] Dorothy Kim discusses the “physical and related lived experiences of building and using archives” that “function as a decolonized, feminist, and material ecosystem,” (Kim, 2018). With that in mind I consider #BlackShabbat, and related online social movements, to be archival projects rooted in the digital world with offline impact.

[20] Kyle Booten, 2019.

[21] Emphasis added by me.

[22] As a Jewish Non-Binary Queer Black Femme I intend to focus on the experiences of Jewish Black Femmes within an AJF framework in the future so “Black/Female/Body Hypervisibility and Invisibility” is a central text in my research generally speaking. The present inquiry focuses on Black Jews, of all and no genders, with intent to contribute work that addresses our erasure generally. Most of the Black Jews I reference are queer Black Femmes, however. I include the scholarship on this particular conceptualization of hypervisibility because it highlights the invisibility-hypervisibility dialectic. That dynamic, I argue, is applicable to the lived experiences of all Black Jews in varying degrees depending on other intersecting, identity-related aspects.

[23] Mowatt, French, and Malebranche, 2013.

[24] Edward S. Shapiro, 2002.

[25] Larry Celona, Ying Chan, Albert Davila, James Duddy, Patrice O’Shaughnessy, Maris Perlow, Tom Raftery, Ellen Tumposky and Don Singleton, and Dick Sheridan, 1991.

[26] Jeffrey Goldberg, 2011.

[27] While conducting research as part of the Leadership Alliance program at Harvard University I had the opportunity to participate in programming offered by Philosophy in an Inclusive Key Summer Institute-Boston (PIKSI-Boston). The theme of the 2016 series was Philosophy and Social Justice.

[28] I won’t defend this claim here in detail there are growing bodies of research in the fields of Black Male Studies, Black Studies, Bioethics, Human Geography, Climate Science, Environmental Psychology, and more that address the violence of global anti-Blackness.

Written by

NYC-based philosophy graduate student whose work covers Genocide Studies, Repro + Enviro Justice, and Critical Race Theory. @moontwerk

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