Brentin Mock

Brentin Mock

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

Getting High is a Civil Right

James Foreman Jr.’s book Locking Up Our Own, which won a Pulitzer prize this week, shows how plans to decriminalize cannabis to help black people were derailed in Washington, D.C. in 1975, by black people.

A plain-clothed police officer mans a position behind the counter at the Starbucks that has become the center of protests in Philadelphia.

Suspiciously Black in Starbucks

Starbucks doesn't need to close its stores for bias trainings. It needs to change its entire design so that it doesn’t merely reflect the character of host neighborhoods, especially if that character is racist.

Atlanta's Cityhood Movement Might Be Out of Control

If Georgia allows the new city of Eagle’s Landing to form, it will set new precedents that could be racially and economically damaging to metro Atlanta.

The Art of Boostin’ from High-End Fashion Stores

The guys who made names off of boostin’ from high-end stores in the 1980s, like Dapper Dan and the Lo-Lifes, are now getting props, but women boosters have not enjoyed the same embrace. Artist Jamea Richmond-Edwards hopes to change that with her new exhibit, “Fly Girl Fly.”

The Evolution of Domestic Spying Since MLK in Memphis

Memphis began spying on local activists around the time when Martin Luther King came to advocate for city sanitation workers. A 1976 consent decree was supposed to put an end to that, but a new pending lawsuit against the city suggests it's still happening.

The Economic Injustices of Memphis in Five Charts

In the years since Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis fighting for economic justice, whatever progress black families and workers have made has been dwarfed by the economic trajectory of whites in the county.

A Revival of the 'Green Book' for Black Travelers

The Post-Racial Negro Green Book questions whether it’s safe yet for black people to travel around America freely.

How to Start Your Own City

A year ago this week, Jason Lary was sworn in as mayor of his brainchild, the brand new city of Stonecrest outside of Atlanta. Now Stonecrest is a frontrunner to land the new Amazon headquarters. How’d he do it?

Resilience Trutherism, Explained

There is a movement of people who believe that “climate resilience” is a Trojan horse for a global takeover of cities via weather manipulation, and a D.C. city council member may subscribe to that idea.

Atlanta: A Tale of New Cities

All around this majority-black community, the region’s cityhood movement has expanded. Now South DeKalb residents are faced with the question: Should they form a new city too?

The Quest for a New Black City in Georgia

A key state deadline this week determines whether predominantly African-American communities just outside Atlanta can vote to start their own city.

The Wakanda Reader

Everything you wanted to know about Wakanda and urbanism, but were afraid to ask.

Wakanda: The Chocolatest City

The new Marvel superhero movie Black Panther shows the benefits and the risks associated with sustaining and protecting a majority-black community.  

How Structural Racism is Linked to Higher Rates of Police Violence

It's not just implicit racial bias. According to a new study, state policies are also a determinant factor in police shootings that disproportionately target African Americans.

Solar panel installers work on the rooftops of some of Baltimore's poorest neighborhoods.

An Uncertain Future for Solar

Trump slapped tariffs on imported solar panels at a time when African Americans were seeing unique job growth in the industry.

California's Race to the Top on Cannabis

The drug war has a race problem. With pot newly legal, cities are making the case that legalization doesn't have to.

A Tale of Two State of the Unions

On SOTU night in D.C., crowds at an African-American church and a popular restaurant were unmoved by Trump’s claim to have boosted black employment.

The Great Migration: The First Moving-to-Opportunity Project

Did black migrants from the South put their children in a better economic position? A new study provides some answers.

Why Is Pennsylvania Still Suspending Driver's Licenses for Drug Offenses?

Close to 150,000 people have lost driving privileges in Pennsylvania between 2011 and 2016 because of a policy dating back to a 1991 federal law.

Black Urban Design in a 'Changing America'

"The city is the black man's land," reads one capsule in an exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Its curator explains why design is a critical part of the post-1968 urban and suburban landscape—and the museum itself.

What Does Marijuana Justice Actually Look Like?

Senator Cory Booker’s bill to legalize marijuana is pretty ambitious, but not ambitious enough, says Harvard Law Review.