Bruce D. Haynes

Bruce Haynes Portrait

Position Title
Professor of Sociology


A scholar of racial and ethnic relations and urban communities, Bruce Haynes' work seeks to understand the processes of Racialization and the consequences of racial classification for creating communities boundaries, particularly within an urban context. His most recent book, The Soul of Judaism: Jews of African Descent in America (New York University Press, 2018), won the 2019 Albert J. Raboteau Book Prize for Best Book in Africana Religions. The work offers the first exploration of the full diversity of Black Jews, including bi-racial Jews of both matrilineal and patrilineal descent; adoptees; black converts to Judaism; and Black Hebrews and Israelites, who trace their Jewish roots to Africa. The work challenges the dominant western paradigm of Jews as white and of European descent. A second recent book, the sociological memoir Down the Up Staircase: Three Generations of a Harlem Family (2017), tells the story of one Harlem family across three generations, connecting its journey to the historical and social forces that transformed Harlem over the past century. His work crosses disciplinary boundaries of American Studies, Community and Urban Sociology, Race and Ethnic Relations, Religion, and Jewish Studies while it remains embedded squarely in traditional historical and qualitative methodologies of Sociology.