Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

Reader 1

Mark Golub


This work traces the relationship of Jews to African-Americans in the process of Jews attaining whiteness in the 20th century. Specific attention is paid to blackface performance in The Jazz Singer and the process of identification with suffering. Theoretically this work brings together psychoanalytic theories of projection, repression and masochism with afro-pessimist notions of the libidinal economy of white supremacy. Ultimately, I argue that in its enjoyment and its masochism, The Jazz Singer empathizes with blackness both as a way to assimilate into white America and express doubt at this very act.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.