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The Canisius College Department of History and local chapter of Phi Alpha Theta is pleased to announce a lecture by award-winning scholar of race and religion, Edward J. Blum, on “‘Jesus Was Black, Ronald Reagan was the Devil, and The Government is Lying about 9/11: The Color of Christ and the Major Problems of American History.” Join us on Wednesday, October 24, in Regis North at 6:30 p.m. as Professor Blum addresses:

How is it that in America the image of Jesus Christ has been used both to justify the atrocities of white supremacy and to inspire the righteousness of civil rights crusades? Edward J. Blum weaves a tapestry of American dreams and visions– from witch hunts to web pages, Harlem to Hollywood, slave cabins to South Park, Mormon revelations to Indian reservations– to show how Americans remade the Son of God visually time and again into a sacred symbol of their greatest aspirations, deepest terrors, and mightiest strivings for racial power and justice.

This talk uncovers how, in a country founded by Puritans who destroyed depictions of Jesus, Americans came to believe in the whiteness of Christ. Some envisioned a white Christ who would sanctify the exploitation of Native Americans and African Americans and bless imperial expansion. Many others gazed at a messiah, not necessarily white, who was willing and able to confront white supremacy. The color of Christ still symbolizes America’s most combustible divisions, revealing the power and malleability of race and religion from colonial times to the presidency of Barack Obama.

Submitted by Richard A. Bailey, associate professor of history