Two very different landmark events in black-Jewish relations took place in 1991, one tragic and one thrilling. Twenty years later, the repercussions are still being felt.
On Aug. 19, 1991, a car accident in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn launched a perfect storm of violence, transforming a longstanding resentment among some blacks of Jews in general and neighborhood chasidim in particular into three days of rage and riots that some historians have called the worst case of anti-Semitism in American history.
‘Sam’s Romance’ explores the 1950s relationship between a middle-aged Jewish man and his young African-American employee.
Special To The Jewish Week
Loneliness, as an old Jewish proverb says, breaks the spirit. In Paul Manuel Kane’s new play, “Sam’s Romance,” set in Greenwich Village in the early 1950s, an awkward middle-aged Jewish housewares/hardware store owner, Sam (Ed Kershen) falls for his 20-year-old African-American female clerk, Natalie (Oni Brown). But Sam’s cousin Rose (LeeAnne Hutchison) — who is trapped in an unhappy marriage with a wounded vet, Joe (Todd Licea) has another agenda for her cousin — involving her brassy friend Luba (Neva Small).
On Martin Luther King's birthday, we're going to hear a lot of starry eyed reminisces about the glory days of black-Jewish amity during the civil rights movement, and muttered complaints about anti-Semitism among African Americans. And we're going to hear the usual stories about how King wasn't a perfect human being and how he sometimes opposed the things most of the Jewish community supports.
New York Gov. David Paterson discusses tuition loans for rabbinical students, Eliot Spitzer, his own political future, black-Jewish relations and Saturday Night Live in part of the the Jewish Week's MetroPolitics vlog interview.