In a story about the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington, The Washington Post takes a look at how recent events commemorating the 1963 march have evoked memories of the relations between African Americans and Jews, groups closely aligned in the early days of the civil rights movement.
Dartmouth’s Susannah Heschel, who attended the 50th anniversary event on August 28, tells the Post that the movement’s shift since the 1960s has affected relations between Jews and African Americans.
The two groups’ relations have changed from one based in churches to one active mostly in courts and legislatures, reducing the “religious dimension,” she tells the Post. “It was the religious dimension that brought us together. What does it mean to link arms and sing We Shall Overcome? Is that political or spiritual?”
Heschel, the Eli Black Professor in Jewish Studies in Dartmouth’s Department of Religion, is the daughter of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, a philosopher who marched with King in Selma, Ala.
(Professor Heschel, who attended a conference at the White House and a reception for civil rights leaders, invited Dierre Upshaw ’09 to join her at the reception. “It was a glorious opportunity for both of us to meet civil rights leaders, politicians, and scholars,” Heschel told Dartmouth Now afterward.)
Read the full story, published 9/6/13 by The Washington Post.