Center for Global Ethics Lecture Focuses on Black-Jewish Relations

Posted: April 21, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The Ocean-Hill Brownsville conflict, frequently cited as the beginning of the end of a liberal black-Jewish alliance in U.S. politics, began as a struggle over decentralization and community control of urban public schools, but culminated in the discrediting of black efforts that were depicted as the work of aggressive, power-hungry and irrational anti-Semites.

In a lecture titled “Why They Shouldn’t Wait: The Decline of Black-Jewish Relations and Ongoing Problems of Black Political Legitimacy,” Jane Gordon, Temple University, will suggest that this incident reveals a larger pattern through which blatant black disenfranchisement does not appear as symptomatic of U.S. political illegitimacy.

She will give the talk on Monday, April 24, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., as part of the Center for Global Ethics Lecture Series. It will be held in Mason Hall, Rooms D3 A and B, on the Fairfax Campus.

Gordon will also argue that a more viable account of political legitimacy is required so that the disenfranchisement of black citizens in cases like Ocean-Hill Brownsville, or more recently, Hurricane Katrina, can be understood as politically relevant to estimations of the health of U.S. politics.

Gordon teaches in the Department of Political Science at Temple University, where she is associate director of the Institute for the Study of Race and Social Thought and the Center for Afro-Jewish Studies.

She is the author of “Why They Couldn’t Wait: A Critique of the Black-Jewish Conflict Over Community Control in Ocean-Hill Brownsville, 1967-1971” (Routledge, 2001) and editor of “Radical Philosophies of Education,” a special issue of Radical Philosophy Review. She also is co-editor of “A Companion to African-American Studies” (Blackwells, 2005) and “Not Only the Master’s Tools” (Paradigm Publishers, 2004). Her current work focuses on problems of legitimacy in democratic societies.

Gordon’s appearance is sponsored by the Democracy Project, the African-American Studies Program, the Women’s Studies Program, the Cultural Studies Program, George Mason University Hillel, the Multicultural Research and Resource Center and the Office of the Provost.

All are invited to this free lecture. Refreshments will be served. For more information about the Center for Global Ethics, see the web site.

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