Dr. Cheryl Lynn Greenberg to deliver talk entitled, "Black-Jewish Relations: Why Should Americans Care?" sponsored by Fairfield University’s Bennett Center for Judaic Studies


In a lecture sponsored by Fairfield University’s Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies, Cheryl Lynn Greenberg, Ph. D., the Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of History at Trinity College, will discuss "the golden age" of Black-Jewish relations in America. The Thursday, Feb. 12 event is free and open to the public, and will take place in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room at 7:30 p.m., on the Fairfield campus. Reservations are required, and can be made by calling the Bennett Center at 203-254-4000, ext. 2066. Please note this is the new date for this event.

Entitled "Black-Jewish Relations: Why Should Americans Care?" the talk will touch upon themes Dr. Greenberg explored in her most recent book, "Troubling the Waters: Black-Jewish Relations in the American Century" (Princeton University Press, 2006). Drawing on a vast number of resources from the archives of such organizations as the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League, Dr. Greenberg attempted to answer the questions of whether there ever really was a black-Jewish alliance in the 20th Century and if so, what happened to it, according to the publisher. She finds that there was less an alliance than a tumultuous political engagement - "but one that energized the civil rights revolution, shaped the agenda of liberalism, and affected the course of American politics as a whole."

She was awarded the Saul Viener Prize for best book in American Jewish history for the work, given by the American Jewish Historical Society. Publishers Weekly observed in its review of the book that Dr. Greenberg was "committed to exploring the historical complexity of the black-Jewish relationship in a balanced way..." The Atlantic Monthly noted that she confronted the issue "with honesty and dedication."

With the exception of brief turns teaching at Columbia University, Harvard University and the University of Helsinki, Dr. Greenberg has spent the majority of her teaching career at Trinity College in Hartford.

Dr. Greenberg was awarded the Trinity College Trustee Award for Faculty Excellence in 2007. She teaches courses in African American history, the history of race in the U.S., and the interplay of race and ethnicity. Her research interests cover a wide range of issues, from Harlem during the Great Depression to the Civil Rights movement, and from race riots to Black-Jewish relations.

Dr. Greenberg is currently working on a monograph on African Americans during the depression, and a project on intermarriage and group identity. She edited the book, "A Circle of Trust: Remembering SNCC" (Rutgers University Press, 1998); and is the author of "Or Does It Explode? Black Harlem in the Great Depression" (Oxford University Press, 1991). She has lectured extensively in the U.S. and in Europe, and has been the recipient of many honors, awards and fellowships. She earned a Ph.D., M. Phil. and M.A. from Columbia University and an A.B. from Princeton University.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 21, 2009

Vol. 41, No. 186