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Today, I’m talking with Dr. Judith Weisenfeld about her highly-informative book called, “New World A-Coming: Black Religion and Racial Identity during the Great Migration”.


When Joseph Nathaniel Beckles registered for the draft in the 1942,  he rejected the racial categories presented to him and persuaded the registrar to cross out the check mark she had placed next to Negro and substitute “Ethiopian Hebrew.”  “God did not make us Negroes,” declared religious leaders in black communities of the early twentieth-century urban North. They insisted that so-called Negroes are, in reality, Ethiopian Hebrews, Asiatic Muslims, or raceless children of God. Rejecting conventional American racial classification, many black southern migrants and immigrants from the Caribbean embraced these alternative visions of black history, racial identity, and collective future, thereby reshaping the black religious and racial landscape.


“New World A-Coming”, focuses on a few of the prominent movements of the time period, which were the Moorish Science Temple, the Nation of Islam, Father Divine’s Peace Mission Movement, and a number of congregations of Ethiopian Hebrews.


Judith Weisenfeld is Agate Brown and George L. Collord Professor in the Department of Religion at Princeton University.




Check out the Dr. Judith Weisenfeld’s website.



Click link to purchase his book“New World A-Coming: Black Religion and Racial Identity during the Great Migration”.



Here is a chronological list of the songs played on the episode. Click to purchase, below.


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