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Debating Zion

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Emily Raboteau and Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts are young mothers in their 30s whose nonfiction books share a common theme: a yearning for some sort of promised land. For Rhodes-Pitts, whose book is the first in a planned trilogy about black utopias, that place is Harlem; for Raboteau, it is not just one place, but a series of locations where displaced blacks have endeavored to find a homeland. Raboteau’s journey began in Israel, where she came to challenge some of her long-held assumptions about race and religion. In a wide-ranging conversation, the writers discussed parenthood, promised lands, and their thoughts on the relationship between blacks and Jews.
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