Who exactly are the Black Hebrew Israelites? A deep dive into the world behind the Kyrie Irving antisemitism scandal

Kyrie Irving, a star player on the Brooklyn Nets, came under fire in Oct. 2022 for posting an antisemitic documentary on social media. (Photo courtesy Erik Drost/Wikimedia Commons)

The biggest sports story of the past week has revolved around an antisemitic documentary that NBA star Kyrie Irving posted to social media. The film, Hebrews to Negroes, peddles antisemitic conspirary theories, repeats fake Hitler quotes and espouses Black Hebrew Israelite ideology that claims Black people are the real Jews. After all the controversy, on Nov. 2, 2022, Irving and his team, the Brooklyn Nets, made a joint announcement with the Anti-Defamation League that both he and his team would each be making a $500,000 donation to anti-hate charities.

As the issue appears to come to a close, there’s no better podcast equipped to discuss the politics and stereotypical undertones than Menschwarmers, The CJN’s podcast about Jews and sports. So co-host James sat down with the three-hour video in question—and is here to tell you what he saw. After that, Rivka Campbell, host of The CJN podcast Rivkush, joins to explain who the Black Hebrew Israelites are and how their movement makes life difficult for Black Jews like herself.


Menschwarmers is hosted by James Hirsh and Gabe Pulver, and produced and edited by Michael Fraiman. Our intro music is by Coby Lipovitch, and our outro music is “Organ Grinder Swing” by chēēZ π. This show is a member of The CJN Podcast Network. Follow the Menschwarmers on Twitter @menschwarmers or TikTok @menschwarmers. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.