Brentin Mock

Brentin Mock

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

A demonstrator dressed as Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest speaks with fellow protesters, Oct. 13, 2017. The Tennessee Historical Commission denied a request from the city of Memphis to remove a statue of Forrest from a city park.

Courts to Memphis: No, Spying on Protesters Is Not Good Police Work

A judge rejects the city of Memphis’s argument that an unpermitted protest is unlawful and therefore fair game for police surveillance.

Fresh Fest co-founder Michael Potter works on his own home brew as he tries to elevate the profile of black beer brewers across the country.

Yes, Black People Brew Beer, Too

As craft beer breweries pop up in cities across America, Michael Potter and Day Bracey want to make sure that African American brewers are not left off the map.

Memphis: Spying on Activists Is Just Good Police Work

As an activist, Tami Sawyer was monitored by the Memphis Police Department. She was elected to the Shelby County Board of Commissioners on August 3, and can now keep track of the agents who were tracking her.

Drake’s Latest Video Is a Throwback to a New Orleans That No Longer Exists

“In My Feelings” surfaces the places where you can find a good po’ boy. That’s great for the tourist, but doesn’t mean so much for the people and cultures that define the soul of the city.

CityLab Daily: ‘We Can't Get Out of This Area That Is Killing Us’

Also: When paying high rent is “saving” for the future, and the case for renaming Austin.

How to Fight Police Violence, Pollution, and Poverty, at the Same Time

Summer Lee is the first black woman elected to represent the Pittsburgh region in the state legislature. And she wants to set the record straight on the confluence of factors eating her constituents alive.  

The U.S. Steel Edgar Thomson steel plant

Environmentalists by Necessity

In the old steel town of Braddock, Pennsylvania, the toxic footprint is emblematic of what it means to suffer environmental injustice in the U.S. And nobody invested in the town’s future can afford to ignore it.

Demonstrators gather in Memphis, Tennessee, earlier this year to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Memphis Police Spying on Activists Is Worse Than We Thought

As ACLU lawyers prepare for an upcoming trial with the Memphis Police Department, the things they’ve learned about the law enforcement agency’s spying habits have “surprised” them.

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama.

It’s Time to Stop Calling it ‘The Great Migration’

For people of color watching over their shoulder this Independence Day, the fear of police interference harkens back to a historical moment with a much-too-benign label.

In downtown Pittsburgh, marchers pass a city plow truck parked in the middle of the road as they protest the shooting death of Antwon Rose Jr. on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Rose was fatally shot by a police officer seconds after he fled a traffic stop June 19, in the suburb of East Pittsburgh.

Police Killings and Violence Are Driving Black People Crazy

Two new studies point to how police killings and violence harm the mental health of African Americans and students—even those who have not been exposed to the incidents.

The Problem with Suburban Police

The East Pittsburgh police department that is responsible for killing the unarmed teenager Antwon Rose, Jr. is one of more than a hundred police departments across metro Pittsburgh—and that’s a problem.

Customers leave a branch of California National Bank of Los Angeles, one day after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation closed CalNational and eight smaller related banks, in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009.

The Tax on Black and Brown Customers When Dealing With Community Banks

According to a new study from New America, African Americans and Latinx incur more bank account costs and fees than whites even when dealing with small financial institutions.

The Story of South Dallas in the Cover Art of Nas’ New Album

A photo of five young black boys holds the story of drugs, racial segregation, and despair in South Dallas.

Ohio’s Voter Purging Process Is About Disenfranchising Cities

People who live in cities and are vulnerable to displacement will be most heavily affected by the SCOTUS decision to let Ohio continue its questionable purging practices.

Mapping Childish Gambino’s Atlanta

A transplant to Atlanta from Pakistan (via London) has mapped the story of Atlanta as told through the songs of some of the city’s most famous rappers.

In Search of the ‘Just City’

Toni Griffin, one of the leading black women in architecture and design, is leading her students at Harvard in envisioning and designing the "just city." And it looks different in Boston than it does in Rotterdam.

Mapping the Segregation of Metro Atlanta’s Amenities

A new mapping project shows how segregation is a matter of whether you have close access to a grocery store, hospital, bank, or park—amenities that influence your quality of life.

Wyatt Cenac Is Here to Solve Your Policing Problems

In his new HBO series “Problem Areas,” comedian-actor Wyatt Cenac takes a crack at solving police racism.

The Deal That Might Just Break Georgia Into Pieces

This would be the de-gentrification of the city of Stockbridge, with its wealthy areas carved away for a new city while remaining residents pick up the substantial tab left behind.

New York Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, center, joins with May Day protesters on Wall Street on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, in New York. Workers and activists marked May Day with rallies around the world.

Should Cynthia Nixon Apologize for Her 'Reparations' Comment?

New York gubernatorial candidate and former “Sex and the City” co-star Cynthia Nixon has a pretty progressive campaign platform on racial equity and cannabis legalization—so what’s the problem?

Leon Ford, center, in a wheelchair, is surrounded by friends and colleagues in Pittsburgh.

How to Survive a Police Shooting When You're Black

Pittsburgh activist Leon Ford explains in his new book, Untold, how to get lifted up, and how to lift a city up, even after being shot by its police.