asher63 (asher63) wrote,
asher63
asher63

Der Shvartzer Chazan: Black cantors from jazz-age Harlem.

Toni Morrison's sixth novel, 'Jazz', contains a passing reference to "the eyes of black Jews, brimful of pity for everyone not themselves" on p. 8. I had not known there was a black Jewish community in 1920s Harlem, but you learn something new every day.

The Times of Israel:
https://www.timesofisrael.com/yiddisher-black-cantors-from-100-years-ago-rediscovered-thanks-to-rare-recording/

"While some Black cantors broke out as cantorial soloists and stars of the Yiddish stage, others mainly served as congregational cantors. They did this in Black synagogues in Harlem, which sprung up in the first decades of the 20th century as Blacks moved northward to escape the Jim Crow South.

Harlem was initially a primarily Jewish neighborhood, so the Black newcomers came into regular contact with their Jewish neighbors. This, together with rising Zionism-inspired Black nationalism, led some Blacks (who were rejected by the Jewish religious establishment) to form their own congregations in which they practiced Jewish rituals and used the Hebrew and Yiddish languages. ..."
Tags: hebraica, music, toni morrison
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