The Hamsa Hand

The Hand of Miriam
The Hand of Miriam

There are a few trails that lead to the value of this Hamsa hand.  My Black grandmother, raising my biracial dad in Harlem, would often speak to him about her affinity for Jews.  She would lift up admirable traits she saw in the Jewish community and desired for her Black community to mirror many of those values.  She was a strong single Black female lead ensuring my dad felt a sense of pride being a Black male but insisted he keep an open and critical eye on the impact of his Black community and what other communities had to offer.  The Jewish community was where my grandmother's critical eye maintained and rooted some of her aspirations for my dad.

My Black father meets my white, Jewish mother.  My mom and dad married and agreed that their soon to be multiracial babies would be culturally and spiritually in tune with Judaism.  This Hamsa hand locks in my parents commitment to raise their children with the understanding of Jewish culture, tradition and customs perhaps without adequate forethought to the difficulty their multiracial babies may have navigating this world.
I go to Israel for the first time on a Birthright trip; I met my first biracial, Jamaican/Jewish friend and saw Israelis & Ethiopian Jews that looked like me and my siblings.  I engaged with people of my generation discussing a range of topics and perspectives that aligned with my views alongside welcomed opposing understandings.  The Hamsa hand is a reminder of my growth from not being able to be simply categorized and how complicated it can be to connect when you check off more than one census box.

– Jamie

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more