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    William Saunders Crowdy

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    August 11, 1847 – August 4, 1908

    When you think about it, Jews and blacks have a lot in common. Large food portions, Sammy Davis Jr, ummmm... Well, centuries of oppression. There's that.

    But Jews can't choose to be black. (Although with the rise of hip-hop, many have tried.) On the other hand, blacks can choose to be Jewish. And not just run-of-the-mill converts like Davis Jr. There are whole religious movements intended to turn blacks into Jews.

    Take the Black Hebrew Israelites. One of the founders was William Saunders Crowdy, an ex-slave and Civil War soldier who had "a vision" that not only turned his hair white (not sure if the vision took place at a hairdresser's), but showed him the true path in life: to lead his people to the one, true religion. Judaism, obviously.

    And who can argue with that? Judaism is the best! So the more Jews the merrier, right? Right?

    Well, apparently Jews — the traditional, run-of-the-mill Jews — are not exactly fans of the Black Israelite movement. For one, the movement teaches that all Jews were once black and that the only true Jews are the black Jews. And... Well... Ummm... We're trying to be INCLUSIVE here, Black Hebrews. Not exactly nice on your part to reject the one group whose help you could have used to legitimize your little sect.

    And besides, the name of the church founded by Crowdy (yes, that's right, a church, not a synagogue or a temple)? "Church of God and Saints of Christ." Christ. Honestly, how can we take these guys seriously?

    We guess we'll stick with large food portions... And Sammy Davis Jr.

    Verdict: Barely a Jew.

    August 31, 2010

    See Also

    Sammy Davis Jr.

    Zab Judah

    Anton LaVey

    Kanye West

    Reggie White
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