Hey guys, I’m MaNishtana.
I remember when I first started blogging, a little bit over a year ago.
I’d come up with this clever little tagline: “Black Jew is the new black.” And the past year, what have we had?
Drake. Shyne. Apparently I was right. Not only is Black Jew the new black, it’s the new Black.
The New York Times this past Saturday ran an Arts feature on Shyne, aka Moshe Levy, aka The Artist Formerly Known As Jamal Barrow. (Although why the Times has a propensity for covering Orthodox Black Jews in the Saturday edition, I have no idea). At any rate, I’m glad to welcome Shyne into the fold. This article brings Black Jews even more into the public consciousness and “mainstream” with someone as high-profile as Shyne is embracing his Judaism. (Yes I said “embracing” not “converting to”. Does no one else remember back in the beginning when it was reported that his mother has Jewish heritage? Or is it just me?) And not only into the “mainstream” consciousness, but into Black consciousness as well, where the prevailing is attitude that genuine non-Hebrew Israelite Jewish Black folks are an aberration at best, and white-washed race traitors at worst. Of course, there ARE some folk out there who comprehend that this is not the case, such as Dr. Boyce Watkins over at blackvoices.com. So I feel this article and exposure can potentially be a good thing.
Why only “potentially”? Because while everyone was all over Drake’s jock for being a Black Jewish rapper, I’ve ALWAYS been on #TeamShyne. Of course, that was back when he looked like this:
See that? Now THAT’S a Black Jew really representing. He’s got the urban down and still rocking the tzitzit. Perfect fusion. Nowadays Shyne looks a lil bit different:
Which is cool and all. He’s adding a little flair to that tired Euro-style. But still. Not sure why he felt the need to. So I’m just hoping, as a lot of my fellow JOCs are, that Shyne doesn’t get himself all carried away and caught up, brainwashed, and end up the posterboy and end-all, be-all word for how all OrthoJOCs think, eat, dress, feel religiously/politically/etc.
If he manages to stay himself, then us JOCs have a pretty kickass Ace in our pocket. An Ace of Spades, naturally. C’mon. You know you were thinking it.