Disclaimer: The ideas presented in each post reflect the opinions of the writer alone, not those of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, nor of the European Research Council.

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'Shir Cushi”: African-American Spirituals "Making Alyia" to Israel during the 1950's

August 14, 2018


The third podcast featured on this blog is a recording of Noa Ben-Sadia's presentation (given in Hebrew), titled "Shir Cushi”: African-American Spirituals "Making Alyia" to Israel during the 1950's'. The presentation was given on June 25th, 2018, at the "Minheret HaZman" conference, hosted at Beit Berl College. Ben-Sadia discusses the arrival of negro-spirituals into the local Israeli music sphere during the 1950's and 1960's, how they earned their popularity in choral and solo performance thanks to their biblical content and at the same time misunderstood both musically and politically. Their popularity was also effected by the African-American singer, actor and activist Paul Robson who was well-known and highly appreciated at the time. Ben-Sadia also discusses the question of local blackness in Israel and the irony created by upper-middle class Ashkenazy Jews who were the main performers and audience of this repertoire.



Noa Ben-Sadia is an alumni ERC Scholar, a graduate of Ethnomusicology at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a music teacher and a musician. 















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