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Michael P. Jeffries

Ph.D. in African American Studies, with a primary field in Sociology

Class of 2008

Michael P. Jeffries is Sidney R. Knafel Assistant Professor of Social Sciences at Wellesley College, where he teaches courses on American popular culture and the politics of race and ethnicity. His most recent book, Paint The White House Black: Barack Obama and the Meaning of Race in America (Stanford U Press, 2013), approaches Obama's election and administration as common cultural ground for thinking about race. The text examines historically rooted conceptions of race and nationhood, discourses of "biracialism" and Obama's mixed heritage, the purported emergence of a "post-racial society," and popular stereotypes of Michelle Obama as a modern black woman. Jeffries's first book, Thug Life: Race, Gender, and the Meaning of Hip-Hop (University of Chicago Press, 2011), features the voices of black and white male hip-hop fans, who discuss what rap music means to them and how they use hip-hop in their everyday lives. Jeffries's writing appears in both academic and popular outlets - work that includes articles and essays about President Obama and contemporary racism, hip-hop feminism, love and hip-hop, race and sports, and a host of other topics. He is native of Brooklyn, NY and South Orange, NJ, and resides in the greater Boston area.