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The Myth of Racial Identity, According to a Black Jew

Julius Lester | Quartz   in 
June 23, 2015

I was around seven when I learned that my maternal great-grandfather was a German Jew, beginning a journey that culminated in my conversion to Judaism in 1982. Later, I was surprised by the antagonistic response I received from many blacks. The general consensus seemed to be that I was no longer black.

People told me that a person could not be black and Jewish. Blacks I had known for years acted differently around me, as if I had changed personalities. Yet, I knew that if I had converted to Catholicism, no one would have cared. If I had become a Muslim, blacks would have…

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