That Black-Jewish Thing: What’s Going On?

Late last May at San Francisco State University, in the week before final exams an African-American artist named Senay Dennis unfurled a mural he had painted t honor Malcolm X and his legacy. The mural was commissioned by the Student Union Governing Board, and the artist was paid $1,500 in student funds. The idea that Malcolm was worthy of a major artistic monument was evidently universally accepted on this very multicultural urban campus, a place that pioneered "Third World" or Ethnic Studies in the late 1960s as well as faculty unionism on the West Coast. What was controversial was the fact that the artist had surrounded the image of Black nationalism's patron saint with Stars of David, which were next to dollar signs, skull and cross-bones, and the phrase "African Blood."