Winner of the 2000 Eudora Welty Prize for a book of scholarship on Modern Letters
Despite the Enlightenment's promise of utopian belonging among all citizens, Blacks and Jews were excluded from the life of their host countries. In their diasporic exile both groups were marginalized as slaves, aliens, unbelievers, and frequently not fully human.The Identity Question: Blacks and Jews in Europe and America explores the effects of diaspora upon Black and Jewish consciousness, demonstrating similar histories of marginality and oppression. Central to this examination are four key autobiographies, two from the late 1700s and two from recent history. The autobiographies of Richard Wright and Alfred Kazin, taken as prime twentieth-century American expressions of racial and ethnic identity, reveal striking similarities to their Enlightenment counterparts in Europe, the black Olaude Equiano and the Jewish Salomon Maimon.
The Bay Area Jewish Weekly: Academic Probes Parallel in Black, Jewish Experience. Click HERE to read.