BEFORE IT’S NEWS -- In the mid-’60s, with the rise of black nationalism (and what some describe as black anti-Semitism), “the once wonderful alliance dissolved and split. And since the mid 1960s, it’s been terrible.”
That, says historian Marc Dollinger, is “the accepted wisdom on how to understand Jewish participation in the civil rights movement.”
Except, Dollinger adds, that’s not really what happened.
He lays all this out in his new book, Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance in the 1960s.
Dollinger, a professor at San Francisco State University, argues that much of our accepted knowledge about the interaction between black and Jewish communities is based more on myth than fact. He says uncovering the real story can teach all Americans a lot about privilege, historical memory and the way we construct our own stories.