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MCLA'S LEADERSHIP ACADEMY TO PRESENT 'THE CRISIS OF WHITENESS IN THE AGE OF THE BLACK PRESIDENCY'

NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — The Leadership Academy at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) will present a lecture by Dr. Sut Jhally, “The Crisis of Whiteness in the Age of the Black Presidency,” at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, July 11, in Murdock Hall room 218 on the MCLA campus.

This event is free and open to the public.

One of the world’s leading scholars who looks at the role played by advertising and popular culture in the processes of social control and identity construction, Jhally is a professor of communication at UMASS-Amherst, and the founder and executive director of the Media Education Foundation (MEF).

According to Jhally, the election of Barack Obama had contradictory effects on racial identity. For African Americans and white liberals, it was a moment of immense pride. On the other hand, he said, for many white Americans it signaled the final nail in the coffin of America as essentially a country defined by whiteness.

“The Republican Party since 2008 has been manipulating this belief to push policies that disadvantage those same people. Donald Trump is their revenge on both the Republican party and the country they think has been stolen from them,” Jhally said.

Jhally perhaps is best known as the producer and director of a number of films and videos, including “Dreamworlds: Desire/Sex/Power in Music Video,” “Tough Guise: Media, Violence and the Crisis of Masculinity,” and “Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear and the Selling of American Empire,” that deals with issues ranging from gender, sexuality and the race to commercialism.

He is the author of numerous books and articles on the media, including “The Codes of Advertising” and “Enlightened Racism.” He is also a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of Massachusetts. In addition, the UMASS student newspaper voted him “Best Professor.”

Jhally also is a recipient of the Distinguished Outreach Award, and was selected to deliver a Distinguished Faculty Lecture in 2007. A resident of Northampton, he was born in Kenya, Africa, raised in England, and educated in graduate studies in Canada.