Distinguished Lecturer Series: Dr. John Jackson presents “Diasporic Dissidents: "African American Hebrews and the Redefinition of All Things Black"

October 2, 2014
Photo of Dr. John Jackson

The Department of African American and African Studies is pleased to announce the Distinguished Lecturere Series Presentation featuring Dr. John Jackson. The talk is scheduled for Noon, Friday, 10/10/14 in 165 Thompson Library (Multipurpose Room) with a film screening for Dr. Jackson's film Bad Friday at 6:15pm (same date and location). For more information please contact, Dr. Devin Fergus at fergus.24@osu.edu or the Department of African American and African Studies at 292-3700.

This talk will offer an overview of Dr. Jackson’s research with the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem, a transnational community of African-American expats based in southern Israel (but also with “saints,” as members are called, spread out across five continents). This is a group that has (a) revised its relationship to conventional forms of African American spirituality, (b) developed a self-conscious commitment to “health literacy” among its members (including mandatory   veganism), and (c) modeled a version of Diasporic subjectivity that tells us interesting and unconventional things about the potential meanings of race and place in the 21st century. To learn more about his research, see Thin Descriptions.


Bad Friday examines a bit of the history of state-sponsored violence against Rastafari in Jamaica. Rastafarians might be the most iconic representation of Jamaica in the world today, but in the mid-20th century they were considered enemies of the Jamaican state. This film interviews some of the elders who withstood the “persecutions”.

Image for Bad Friday Film