Precarious Whiteness: Reimagining the Seattle Sephardic Origin Story
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“Precarious Whiteness: Reimagining the Seattle Sephardic Origin Story” seeks to investigate narrative formation around Sephardic Jewish identity from the early twentieth century to the present. While Sephardim are commonly positioned as American and white in academic and non-academic texts, I demonstrate that these classifications do not account for the multifaceted Ottoman, Spanish, and Jewish nature of Sephardic identity, nor acknowledge Sephardic reluctance to become permanently part of the United States. I subsequently disassociate Sephardic Jews from the white-washing pioneer narrative of the American West to recognize the non-Western and non-white elements of Sephardic identity. Finally, I recount the many instances in which non-Jews and already-established, Ashkenazic Jews operated according to a black-white dichotomy to discriminate against Sephardic Jews to ensure their own societal privilege.