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Making Multidirectional Memory

Making Multidirectional Memory

(p.179) 7 Making Multidirectional Memory
Days of Awe
Atalia Omer
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the deep roots of black-Palestinian solidarity in the anticolonial critique from the Global South or Third Worldism as a layered subtext for examining explicit solidarity of the Movement for Black Lives ("Black Lives Matter") with Palestinians. The chapter also traces histories of black-Jewish affinities in the US and the changing dynamics of such affinities precipitated by Jews' "moral choice" to become white as well as the tension between the devaluation of African American and African lives and the recognition of the Holocaust as tragedy and its victims as grievable. An engagement with Micahel Rothberg's notion of "multidirectional memory" reopens the possibility of connecting the narrative of the Holocaust to the colonial experiences of genocide and, with it, de-linking Jews from orientalist civilizational narratives while (re)linking them to antiracist, postcolonial critique and solidarity struggles. The chapter shows that grappling with whiteness becomes increasingly critical to retrieving prophetic interpretations of the Jewish tradition while refashioning the normative boundaries of Jewish identity.

Keywords:   African American-Palestine solidarity, settler colonialism, decolonizing Jewishness, black antisemitism, white supremacy, Jews of Color, black-Jewish relations

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