My Kids Are Black and Jewish. To Them, These Identities Are Inseparable.

Header image via Yulia Sutyagina/EnginKorkmaz/Getty Images

“Dada, what does that sign say?” We were at the park on a recent Tuesday morning, and my 5-year-old asked my husband that question. Her dark arm pointed to a Black Lives Matter poster in a nearby yard.

“That’s the one that celebrates Hanukkah, right?” she asked. My husband and I looked quizzically at each other, trying to make sense of her question, when her sweet voice added, “What’s the difference?”

At first, we laughed at the innocence of her question — but then we realized the sophistication of her remark. It wasn’t that she was muddling things in her mind; rather, the message she read into the sign was far more complicated than she initially let on. At her young age, to her, supporting Black lives and celebrating Hanukkah is part and parcel of the same thing; one does not happen without the other. She doesn’t discern her identity as being Black and Jewish. She was simply identifying herself — and, by extension, the sign — as she sees it: a Black Jew.

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