Beyond Black Marginality: Expanding Our View of Black People & Places

As part of our virtual panel series, City & Community is excited to host “Beyond Black Marginality: Expanding Our View of Black People & Places” on Monday, May 1, at 5:00PM (ET). Aimed at junior scholars (but inclusive of all), this panel series features topics within the journal’s scope in which more established scholars share their experiences and intellectual journeys with the intention of both guidance and information. See below for a description and information. 

Beyond Black Marginality: Expanding Our View of Black People & Places

Urban scholars have been at the forefront of understanding the oppressive dynamics facing Black people and communities. For example, Ida Wells’ (1892) Southern Horrors and W.E.B. Du Bois’ (1935) Black Reconstruction elucidated the particular structural dynamics facing Black lives in the face of cultural and political renderings of Black marginality. In many ways, classical and contemporary sociologists have reproduced and reified many of the discursive narratives of despair through their work. In her 2021 Issues in Race & Society article, Dr. Mary Pattillo called for us to flip the script on research focused on racial inequality and social stratification. Some sociologists have heeded her call, intentionally working to explore Black pride and joy, but much of urban sociology continues to limit itself to documenting damage. We seek to promote a critical research agenda to counter the deficits gaze on Black bodies and communities.

In this panel, we take this call seriously to expand our focus on Black people and places. Given the current state of the field, we ask: How in the face of the realities of structural racism should urban sociologists approach studying Black people and places? How can we document both the damage caused by structural racism and the strengths of Black people and places? Where is there room for more urban studies of Black pride and joy? We bring together a dynamic group of sociologists focused on suburbanization, urban education, and gentrification and ethnographic, interview, and quantitative approaches to share their professional experiences and practical insights.

Dr. Zawadi Rucks-Ahidiana, SUNY Albany
Dr. Prentiss Dantzler, University of Toronto

Dr. Orly Clergé, University of California – Davis
Dr. Chantal Hailey, University of Texas – Austin
Dr. Brandi Summers, University of California – Berkeley 

Please register here:

For any questions, please email

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