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Home » The Center for Jewish Ethics » Race, Religion, and American Judaism » Lecture 2: Zakhor: Alex Haley’s Roots, Scriptures, and the Race for America

Lecture 2: Zakhor: Alex Haley’s Roots, Scriptures, and the Race for America

The politics of American identity are rooted in memory. What do Alex Haley’s Roots and the Jewish scriptural tradition teach us about the constitution of race in the USA?


Richard Newton

Richard Newton

Richard Newton is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama. His research interests include the anthropology of scriptures, the New Testament in Western imagination, African American intellectual history, identity politics, and pedagogy in Higher Education. A sought-after media commentator, his insights have been featured on National Public Radio, Penn Live, and other outlets. In addition to articles in top-flight academic journals and online popular essays, Newton is the author of Identifying Roots: Alex Haley and the Anthropology of Scriptures (Equinox 2020) and the founder of the online social media professional development network, Sowing the Seed: Fruitful Conversations in Religion Culture and Teaching (SowingTheSeed.org).

    More from the lecturer

    • Podcast with Dr. Newton, “Religion, Roots, and Black National Identity with Richard Newton,” Straight White American Jesus, 2020.
    • Podcast with Dr. Newton, “Roots as Scripture and Scripture as Roots,” The Religious Studies Project, 2020.
    • Report on Dr. Newton’s book and interview with the author.

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