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Watch Trailer: Doc 'RE-EMERGING: The Jews of Nigeria' Explores Igbo Identity & Roots in Judaism

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by Vanessa Martinez
June 6, 2012 7:25 PM
4 Comments
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Directed by Jeff Lieberman, journalist, producer and documentary filmmaker, RE-EMERGING: The Jews of Nigeria documents the lives of Igbo people who have embraced Judaism as a part of their legacy and who believe Igbos are really descendants of Israelites.

The doc, which made its worldwide premiere at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan on May 17th of this year, follows Sam, now known as Shmuel, on his quest for knowledge about Igbo identity and history - from Igbos' roots in Israel, to their journey during the Atlantic Slave Trade, to the Nigerian-Biafran War.

The doc aims to reveal a rich Igbo history unbeknownst to African descendants all over the world, especially African Americans, many of whom are of Igbo ancestry.

Here's more about the film:


"RE-EMERGING: The Jews of Nigeria" is a journey into the heart of Igboland and into the lives and culture of the Igbo people. The film introduces the world to the many synagogues that dot the land, and a handful of passionate, committed, and diverse characters -- each striving to fulfill their historical legacy with few resources and unbeknownst to most of the world.  Individual stories are woven together with key facets of history, tracing the Igbo from Biblical times up to the brutal 1960s Biafran War, which killed over 1 million Igbo.  A wide range of American academics help detail this history, including shedding new light on the Igbo origins of thousands of slaves captured during the Atlantic Slave Trade and brought to American shores.  The film delves into this history and travels to the southeast coast of Georgia, where locals still speak of the Igbo spirit alive and well at a riverbed called Ibo Landing.

The documentary is available for purchase online through film's website HERE.

Watch the trailer below:

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4 Comments

  • turner | September 19, 2012 1:57 PMReply

    For me, religion is cumbersome. I'm thinking the saying "do unto others...etc" covers just about everything. Dogma's a drag.

  • Charity Dell | September 19, 2012 1:20 PMReply

    I will be glad to see this documentary! We African-americans ARE Hebrews--many of our ancestors were sold to the Europeans by Muslim rulers anxious to "get rid of" their Jewish
    populations. The irony of this is that many African Muslims were also ethnically Jews/Hebrews/Israelites of similar or identical genetic ancestry. Most of the Jewish and Judeo-Christian populations of Africa were either slaughtered outright or forced to convert to Islam.
    The trans-atlantic slave trade was a form of "ethnic cleasning" that forcibly removed African Jews and Judeo-Christians from their homelands--an "ethnocaust" that dumped millions of
    us here in the Caribbean and the Americas. However, we Judeo-Christians of Igbo descent retained many Judaic/Hebraic practices in our churches and communities--and the very fact that we organized our churches DURING slavery (in SPITE of the Euro-masters) means that WE BROUGHT OUR FAITH HERE WITH US! The Black Church IS a form of African Judaism and our Hebraic customs in worship/liturgy/preaching and community organization are STILL practiced 500 years after our arrival to these shores!

  • monie Valentine | June 7, 2012 10:49 PMReply

    Great video however, West Africans and African Americans need not embrace Judaism. We are decscendants of the Hebrew Israelites in the bible. We are not to embrace what converted Europeans (the so-called modern days Jewish person) calls Judaism. African-Americans who claim Judaism need to come out of that!

  • therebel-ak | June 6, 2012 7:44 PMReply

    Duh.

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