- Amritjit Singh
Black-Jewish relations represent a richly layered chapter in twentieth-century U.S. history and, depending upon the area of activity or the time period involved, convey distinctive lessons not just for Jews or blacks but for all Americans with commitments to fair play, social justice, and human rights at home and abroad. The active engagement of Jewish Americans in civil rights struggles on behalf of blacks—from the establishment of the NAACP in 1909 to the freedom riders and other civil rights events and actions in the 1960s—is an inspiring narrative of interethnic cooperation.
At the same time the participation of blacks and Jews in the labor movement and the Communist Party USA during the 1930s and 1940s has since the 1960s produced multiple ambivalent readings of motive and attitudes on both sides And at least since the 1990s an exasperating level of open conflict and ugliness has emerged between the two groups ...
A version of this article originally appeared in The Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present.