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Raboteau Book Prize Winners

University of California-Davis Sociology Professor Bruce D. Haynes Wins the 2019 Albert J. Raboteau Prize for Best Book in Africana Religions!

His book, The Soul of Judaism: Jews of African Descent in America (NYU Press), explores the full racial and religious diversity of African-descended Jews in the United States, including “bi-racial Jews of both matrilineal and patrilineal descent; adoptees; black converts to Judaism; and Black Hebrews and Israelites, who trace their Jewish roots to Africa and challenge the dominant western paradigm of Jews as white and of European descent.”

Prof. Howard Winant called the book “a revelation,” asserting that “Haynes opens up important questions about racism, antisemitism, and the immense variety of Jewish experience, both religious and racial. Jews in the U.S. and in the diaspora have to recognize that Judaism is not white. We have to embrace the African (and Asian, and Latinx) dimensions of Jewish identity and history.”

Members of the selection committee included Patrick Bellegarde-Smith (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), J. Kameron Carter (Indiana University), Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban (Rhode Island College), Marla Frederick (Emory University), and Josef Sorrett (Columbia University).


2018: Pablo F. Gomez, The Experiential Caribbean: Creating KNowledge and Healing in the Early Modern Atlantic (UNC Press)

2017: Judith Weisenfeld, New World A-Coming: Black Religion and Racial Identity During the Great Migration (NYU Press)

2016: Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús, Electric Santería: Racial and Sexual Assemblages of Transnational Religion (Columbia University Press)

2015: Cécile Fromont, The Art of Conversion: Christian Visual Culture in the Kingdom of Kongo (UNC Press) 

2014: Jacob S. Dorman, Chosen People: The Rise of American Black Israelite Religions (Oxford University Press)

2013: Ras Michael Brown, African-Atlantic Cultures and the South Carolina Lowcountry (Cambridge University Press)