Black Joy

8 Black and Jewish Icons You Should Know

Hanukkah 2022 begins the evening of Sunday, December 18th and ends the evening of Monday, December 26th. In honor of the Festival of Lights, Black Joy is spotlighting Black and Jewish icons. Our Jewish community deserves to be seen in more than just the headlines about our nation’s intensifying antisemitism. They also deserve to be celebrated for their accomplishments and contributions to our culture.

Kat Graham is an entertainer and humanitarian best known for her role as Bonnie Bennett on The Vampire Diaries. She is a United Nations Refugee Goodwill Ambassador. And an executive producer and host for Witness (2023), a TIME documentary about the international refugee crisis.

Ezra Edmond is a writer, director and animation producer with a passion for storytelling with insights into complex identities. Most notably, his animated short about being Black & Jewish, “Blewish.” He has worked with Disney, Pixar and Lucasfilm.

Tahuonia Rubel is a fashion model, singer and television personality, known for winning the fifth series of Big Brother Israel in 2013. She has led campaigns for designer brands, including Sleek Makeup, MAC Cosmetics and Diesel for Glamour magazine.

Michael W. Twitty is a culinary historian and creator of Afroculinaria, a blog devoted to African American foodways and their legacies. His book, The Cooking Gene, won two James Beard Awards in 2018. His latest book, KOSHERSOUL, looks at the creation of African Jewish cooking.

Imani Jackson is the CEO and head chef of Chopped & Served, offering sovereign, blewish cuisine. The community-based catering company frequently provides free food to inner-city youth. She recently opened a brick-and-mortar location in George Floyd Square in Minneapolis, MN.

Camonghne Felix is a writer, poet and communications strategist. Formerly the Director of Surrogates and Strategic Communications for the Elizabeth Warren presidential campaign, her memoir, Dyscalculia, will be released February 14, 2023, and is now available for pre-order.

Rebecca Walker is a writer and activist. She served as editor for Women Talk Money: Breaking the Taboo. Published earlier this year, the anthology features essays by prominent women writers. Rebecca also co-founded the Third Wave Fund, which makes grants to womxn and trans youth working for social justice.

Daveed Diggs is an actor, producer, rapper and singer-songwriter. He famously starred in the original Broadway cast of Hamilton as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, for which he won a Tony Award. He’s guest starred on Black-ish, Sesame Street and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

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