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AMST’s Whitfield on ‘Jews, Racial Justice, and Democracy’

Published: February 17, 2012
Section: News


Professor Stephen Whitfield (AMST) gave a lecture Sunday titled “Jews, Racial Justice, and Democracy,” speaking at Temple Shalom in Medford, Mass. The event, open to the public, emphasized the “role of Jews in promoting black culture and therefore promoting racial justice” before and during the civil rights movement, Whitfield said.

Specifically, Whitfield focused on African-American and Jewish alliances in the business world and in the music industry. He discussed people such as Julius Rosenwald, former president of Sears, whose philanthropy helped fund the creation of more than 5,300 charter schools for African-Americans in the South and supported historically black universities, and Jewish record executives who promoted African-American jazz musicians.

“What people need to know is that the Jewish and the African-American movements in America are alike because of the fundamental struggle for social justice,” Whitfield said to conclude his lecture.