Making History: The Sephardi Jewish Orphans of Sao-Tome and the African -American Appropriation of their Story
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This study seeks to explore the little known story of the Sephardi Jewish Orphans of São Tomé. Not much is known about the children who were taken from Portugal to the western coasts of Africa. The story of these 600 Sephardic Jewish children is unique and enigmatic. However, it has been subjected to an unusual interpretation. Notably, many African-Americans have appropriated this portion of Sephardi Jewish history. For some, they have traced their Jewish ancestry to this historical event, and clearly self-identify as Jews based on this narrative. Why do they do this? The theory of Afrocentricity and collective memory is applied to this case study of African-Americans; to consider how they are able to adopt this story as their own. Finally, it is said that nature abhors a vacuum; the lacuna inherent with this story is akin to the historical fate of many African Americans. This study attempts to explore how these two communities, from the past and the present, have come together in the making of history, imagined or real.
Amanfo, Arinze D., "Making History: The Sephardi Jewish Orphans of Sao-Tome and the African -American Appropriation of their Story" (2019). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3960.
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