When you hear the word “ghetto,” what images do you think of?

In his new book, “Ghetto: The History of a Word,” Daniel B. Schwartz posits that those images will differ, depending on one’s grasp of history and their cultural experience.

Though in modern parlance, “ghetto” is frequently associated with black neighborhoods in the U.S., it was also closely associated with Jewish communities in the early 20th century. Its connection to the Jewish community dates back much further, in fact. Ghetto was first used in 16th century Venice to describe Jewish people.

Schwartz joins us to explore the twisty linguistics of the word “ghetto” and how it has impacted the communities it’s been used to describe.

Produced by Morgan Givens


  • Daniel B. Schwartz Associate Professor of History and Judaic Studies, George Washington University; author, "Ghetto: The History of a Word"; @dbsva74

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