Brentin Mock

Brentin Mock

Brentin Mock is a staff writer at CityLab. He was previously the justice editor at Grist.

The Problem With Research on Racial Bias and Police Shootings

Despite new research on police brutality, we still have no idea whether violence toward African Americans is fueled by racial prejudice. That has consequences.

How Racism Became a Public Health Crisis in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh’s city council voted to declare racism a health crisis, following precedents set by Madison and Milwaukee. Here’s what it means—and what it doesn’t.

photo: Dominque Walker, founder of Moms 4 Housing, n the kitchen of the vacant house in West Oakland that the group occupied to draw attention to fair housing issues.

A Group of Mothers, a Vacant Home, and a Win for Fair Housing

The activist group Moms 4 Housing occupied a vacant home in Oakland to draw attention to the city’s affordability crisis. They ended up launching a movement.

What ‘Livability’ Looks Like for Black Women

Livability indexes can obscure the experiences of non-white people. CityLab analyzed the outcomes just for black women, for a different kind of ranking.

photo: In a scene from 'Queen & Slim,' the film's fleeing protagonists find temporary refuge in a Deep South juke joint.

‘Queen & Slim’ Is a Cinematic Ode to Black America's Last Safe Space

The film asks you to believe that an African American couple fleeing police would have a better shot at freedom in the Deep South than in the North. Here's why.

Neighborhoods With More People of Color Pay Higher Energy Bills

Not only are residents of minority neighborhoods paying more of their income for energy bills, but federal government housing policies are a huge part of the reason why.

A colorful mural with a woman's head and words reading "take me out to the go-go."

How Go-Go Music Became Kryptonite for Gentrification in D.C.

Go-go has become the soundtrack for a growing anti-gentrification movement in Washington. Now a city council bill wants to make it D.C.’s official music.

The Slave Revolt Reenactment Taking Over New Orleans

On November 8 and 9, costumed black people with replica guns will march across Louisiana reenacting one of the largest slave rebellions in U.S. history.

Mitch Landrieu at a podium with people behind him.

What Mitch Landrieu Learned About Racism in the American South

The former New Orleans mayor’s report back from his 11-month tour of the South reveals that racism in the region might be deeper than he imagined.

CityLab's Brentin Mock talks to Beto O'Rourke in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Beto O’Rourke’s $1.5 Trillion Climate Plan Is Serious on Environmental Justice

In an interview with CityLab, the 2020 presidential candidate spells out a climate policy that is overtly attentive to race.

An old apartment building and empty lot and new modern construction

Who Will Presidential Candidates' Redlining Plans Actually Benefit?

Housing plans by Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg intend redress for racist redlining housing practices, but who will actually benefit?

Steven Reed at podium with people behind him.

It’s Not Just Steven Reed: Black Mayors Are Winning the South

Can Steven Reed, the first black mayor in Montgomery, Alabama, reconcile the city's civil rights legacy and racial justice needs with its Confederate past?

A Homecoming Through Art for Pittsburgh’s Historic Hill District

Njaimeh Njie’s art series honoring black lives in Pittsburgh’s Hill District emerges as reports show that black lives haven’t mattered much in the city.

A woman looks straight at camera with others people and trees in background.

Pittsburgh: A ‘Most Livable’ City, but Not for Black Women

Pittsburgh is the worst place for black women to live in for just about every indicator of livability, says the city’s Gender Equity Commission.

Why Flood Victims Blame Their City, Not the Climate

Cities may struggle to gain support for climate action plans because they haven’t dealt with infrastructure issues that regularly afflict residents.

black children walking by a falling-down building

White Americans’ Hold on Wealth Is Old, Deep, and Nearly Unshakeable

White families quickly recuperated financial losses after the Civil War, and then created a Jim Crow credit system to bring more white families into money.

A portrait of Jay-Z.

The Roots of Jay-Z’s ‘Black Capitalism’

Now partnering with the NFL, Jay-Z centers wealth-building in his activism, as many African Americans have before him—but without much success.

What U.S. Cities Facing Climate Disaster Risks Are Least Prepared?

New studies find cities most vulnerable to climate change disasters—heat waves, flooding, rising seas, drought—are the least prepared.

Children holding signs.

The Racism Behind Trump's New ‘Public Charge’ Immigration Policy, Explained

The changes to the “public charge” rule fit into a long history of attempting to restrict immigration based on race and ethnicity.

A photo of a Dayton police office's gun holster

State Preemption of Local Legislation Is Getting Worse

A new report shows that state legislatures have been expanding their reach in preempting cities from localized regulation on issues like gun control.

A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.

What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.