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Creole Israel: Abraham Philip Samson and the Formation of the Caribbean Jewish Rootsman

Arnold Hall 96 Wentworth Street, Charleston, SC

Professor Eli Rosenblatt will talk about the work of Abraham Philip Samson (1872-1958)—the relatively unknown Surinamese Jewish activist, writer, and pharmacist—as a lens on the complex position of Jews in late 19th and early 20th-century Suriname, a Caribbean country on the northeastern coast of South America ruled by the Netherlands until 1975. Since much excellent recent scholarship has focused on Surinamese Jewish culture in the era of slavery, this talk will discuss how Samson, a Surinamese Jewish descendant of both free Jews and enslaved people, inherited and represented the legacies of that era in political, ethical, and theological contexts.