Black-Jewish relations--at the symbolic level--are in shambles, writes Cornel West. One has only to recall the 1991 Crown Heights tragedy and its aftermath to recognize to what extent Black-Jewish relations have deteriorated. The emergence of frequently anti-Semitic black demagogues like Louis Farrakhan and Leonard Jeffries and the Jewish community's turn to neo-conservatism have only made matters worse. Mistrust, ambivalence, and other negative feelings characterize much of Black-Jewish relations. Unlike most books on this topic which are written from a sociocultural, historical, and literary perspective, this anthology looks at the psychological motives, beliefs, and desires that impair relations between the two groups. For example, unresolved vulnerabilities in respective communities from the Holocaust and slavery remain driving and complex passions that still disrupt Black-Jewish relations. Psychoanalysis is a powerful conceptual tool to untangle these issues and other aspects of the larger societal race-relations problem.
About the Author:
ALAN HELMREICH was a freelance journalist specializing in Black-Jewish relations.
PAUL MARCUS is a psychoanalyst in private practice and member of the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis. He is the author of Autonomy in the Extreme Situation, Bruno Bettelheim, The Nazi Concentration Camps and the Mass Society.