Black and Jewish: “Got a Star of David on my Grill”
I’m not usually a fan of parodies. That’s not to say I don’t like humor – au contraire! But like Leah once wrote for JWA, I, too, often find parodies to be uncreative, offensive or both. Still, even I was taken in by the latest pop culture parody to hit the web. “Black & Jewish,” performed by actresses Kali Hawk (Bridesmaids) and Katerina Graham (Vampire Diairies) is a take on Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow,” and it’s among the better parodies I’ve seen.
Though “Black and Jewish” touches on just about every stereotype ever conjured about blacks and Jews (“My nose and ass – they’re both big!”), I actually found it to be endearing and unoffensive. In fact, I was pleased to see two black Jewish women celebrating their dual heritages, stereotypes and all, and letting the world know, through humor, that black Jews do, in fact, exist – and that these cultures can coexist harmoniously (though I doubt KFC has ever actually played host to a bat mitzvah). In that way, “Black and Jewish” isn’t just funny – it’s educational!
Lest you worry that Hawk and Graham are poking fun at a tradition that’s not theirs, let it be known – these ladies are, in fact, black and Jewish. Graham’s father is Liberian, and her mother is both Polish and Russian; her brother is Israeli. And though I can’t find any information on Hawk’s background, the song does pay tribute to other black Jews, including Drake, Lenny Kravitz, Rashida Jones, and Sammy Davis, Jr. (Though there’s some disagreement whether Whoopi Goldberg is Jewish, Goldberg herself has said, "I just know I am Jewish … I keep it simple, I have a pretty good relationship with God. We talk.” Good enough for me!)
Wondering who else is black and Jewish? Hip-Hop Wired breaks it down for you.
Shalom to your mother.
How to cite this page
Bigam, Kate. "Black and Jewish: “Got a Star of David on my Grill”." 26 July 2011. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on October 30, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/black-and-jewish>.