Who Are The Black Hebrew Israelites?

This week, on Tuesday 10th, there was a deadly and gruesome attack that happened in Jersey City, New Jersey, United States. The attack was conducted by two people namely David N. Anderson and Francine Graham aged 47 and 50 respectively. The two were involved in a protracted firefight with law enforcers that led to the death of six people including one police officer and the perpetrators themselves. More evidence has emerged that has linked them to other murderous acts the previous weekend. A day after the attack, on Wednesday 11th, it emerged that one of the two, Anderson, was linked to the Black Hebrew Israelite movement.

What is the Black Hebrew Israelite Movement?

The Black Hebrew Israelites  movement is not related to Judaism. The group is known for having ministers that are provocative by twisting religion and coming up with a whole new set of beliefs.

The group is not actually made of Hebrews but people of African descent who believe that the biblical Israelites were their ancestors. They do not believe in race and believe that the 12 tribes of Israel in the Bible were actually ethnic groups that did not include white people. Consequently, their gospel states that Native Americans, blacks, and Hispanics are the chosen ones.


According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the people of the movement despise Jews. In particular, one branch called the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ is the most active in the fight against Jews. However, there are reports that there is a growing hatred for Jews from other branches. They see Jews as people corrupted by bigotry and so they view them as devils or impostors. The Black Hebrews hate Jews because they think that they are the actual descendants of the Israelites instead of the Jews.

Are They Linked to White Nationalists?

The two are linked as much as the earth’s surface is linked to the sky, which is to say not at all. The Black Hebrews despise white people. However, there is an argument that the rise of white nationalists may be feeding the Black Hebrews movement as more people keep joining thei cause. In fact, a white supremacist leader has described them as the black counterparts of white nationalists.

How Many are They?

It is difficult to say but some estimates place their number in the tens of thousands. However, it becomes tricky to pinpoint an exact number because of varying ideologies. Some of them despise Jews and want nothing to do with them while others want to be part of the mainstream Jewish community.


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