A wave of religious leaders in black communities in the early twentieth-century insisted that so-called Negroes were, in reality, Ethiopian Hebrews, Asiatic Muslims, or a raceless children of God. In New World A-Coming: Black Religion and Racial Identity during the Great Migration
(NYU Press, 2017), historian of religion Judith Weisenfeld
argues that the appeal of these groups lay in how they rejected conventional American racial classifications and offered alternative visions of black history, racial identity, and a collective future.
Hillary Kaell co-hosts NBIR and is Associate Professor of Religion at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.