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RaciolinguisticsHow Language Shapes Our Ideas About Race$
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H. Samy Alim, John R. Rickford, and Arnetha F. Ball

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190625696

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190625696.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 October 2021

Jews of Color

Jews of Color

Performing Black Jewishness through the Creative Use of Two Ethnolinguistic Repertoires

(p.171) 9 Jews of Color

Sarah Bunin Benor

Oxford University Press

The United States is home to a growing number of Jews of Color. This chapter offers an introductory look at the diverse options for self-presentation among Black Jews, focusing on language. I analyze online videos that feature prominent Black Jews discussing and performing their Black Jewish identities: educator Yavilah McCoy, poet Aaron Samuels, writer MaNishtana, journalist Simone Weichselbaum, Hip Hop artist Y-Love, and actresses Kat Graham and Kali Hawk. By using distinctive features of the African American and Jewish American linguistic repertoires, in combination with other cultural practices, they align themselves with multiple groups. Sometimes they do so in humorous or parodic ways, mocking the essentialized understanding of language and racial identity. I discuss these findings in relation to various understandings of language, including the notion of “ethnolinguistic repertoire.”

Keywords:   Black Jews, Jews of Color, African Americans, Jewish Americans, African American English, Jewish English, language and ethnicity, ethnolinguistic repertoire, performance

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