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LISTEN: When Jews and Blacks lived together

TJI Pick
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LISTEN: When Jews and Blacks lived together

Published: 15 August 2023

Last updated: 5 March 2024

Black Jewish writer JAMES MCBRIDE has written a whodunit-cum-heist-cum-love story set in a mixed 1930s neighbourhood.

James McBride is best known for his memoir The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, which told the story of his mother, who grew up in an abusive, ultra-Orthodox Jewish family.

Now the writer, whose father was African American, has written a novel set among both the communities of his heritage in Pottsdown, Pennsylvania.

“Chicken Hill was the part of town where Blacks lived, Jews lived, white people like - I don't know - Italians and Greeks and Irish who couldn't afford any better lived. And they all pretty much got along,” he said.

NPR's Scott Detrow spoke with McBride about his new book The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store.

James McBride's new novel explores Black and Jewish affection, tensions in the 1930s (NPR)

The Jewish Independent acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and strive to honour their rich history of storytelling in our work and mission.

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