2021 JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival

Shared Legacies: The African-American Jewish Civil Rights Alliance

Expired March 10, 2021 5:45 AM
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This essential and edifying documentary chronicles the history of the Black-Jewish alliance in America. Revisiting critical points in history when Black and Jewish Americans faced hardships due to segregation and racism, the film begins with the founding of the NAACP in 1909 – when Jews, Gentiles, and Black Americans initiated a “new abolitionist movement” – and concludes with an examination of modern-day race relations.

With its impressive array of storytellers and archival footage, the film explores the normalized bigotry of the Jim Crow South, the North’s rampant bias in the areas of housing, employment, and education, and the civil rights era initiatives that brought Black and Jewish leaders together to support Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision for a more just and equitable world. Unfortunately, the bond these communities shared during the civil rights era has since strained and issues like white flight, geographic insularity, and tension between Orthodox Jews and African Americans in places like Crown Heights, Brooklyn have added a whole other level of complexity.

Recently, under our current administration, groups like the Alt-Right have strived to gain legitimacy and sow seeds of discord in our increasingly divided country; add to that the effects of mass incarceration on communities of color and increasing incidents of police brutality and misconduct towards those same communities. Finally, compound that by the fact that communities of color are currently being hit disproportionately hard by COVID-19, you have a realistic rendering of present-day America. At a time when change seems possible, SHARED LEGACIES is a crucial reminder of how unity is the only way to bring peace into this world.

This program presented in partnership with:

  • Year
  • Runtime
    95 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Dr. Shari Rogers
  • Executive Producer
    Lisa Weitzman