"Negroes Are Anti-Semitic Because They're Anti-White" - Discussion Questions
- Review: Who wrote this document? When was it written?
- What audience was this document written for? How might that have influenced its content and format?
- According to Baldwin, how do some African Americans feel about Jews? What are the causes of these feelings? How does Baldwin's language help communicate these feelings?
- During the Civil Rights Movement, there was a sense that Jews and African Americans were in this fight together. How does Baldwin's article expose the undercurrents of separateness that existed between the two communities?
- Some activists cite the Holocaust as a reason they got involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Based on the article, how does Baldwin view Jews' "use" of the Holocaust? What is your reaction to what he says?
- The title of Baldwin's article suggests that African Americans see Jews as "white people" first and only then as Jews. How do you think this compares with how Jewish people saw themselves during the Civil Rights Movement? How do you think American Jews see themselves today? How do you think other minority groups (Latinos, Muslims, etc.) in America today see Jews? (See Unit 1, Lesson 1 for information and activities relating to the characterization of American Jews as "white folks" and to the racial and ethnic diversity of American Jews.)
- Which of the causes of anti-Jewish feeling described by Baldwin do you think still exist today among some African Americans? Among some members of other minority groups? Among some Jews?
- Some of you may have been surprised that this article appeared in the New York Times Magazine. Why do you or don't you think this issue was "worthy" of national news coverage at the time? Do you think black-Jewish relations should be covered by national press today? Why or why not?