Brentin Mock

Brentin Mock

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

A sign says "wait here to vote" with a woman visible in the background.

Where Voter Suppression Hits Hardest in Georgia

In the swiftly diversifying Gwinnett County, the second largest county in Georgia, the best way to vote freely and fairly in the upcoming midterms is if you’re white.

The backs of people facing forward in a church.

How Dismantling the Voting Rights Act Helped Georgia Discriminate Again

A decade ago, Georgia tried to implement a similar “exact-match” voter registration system but was thwarted by a key section of the Voting Rights Act. That section has been removed, leaving voters of color unprotected.

For Once, Racism Didn’t Work in Defending a Chicago Police Officer

The police officer who killed Laquan McDonald was convicted on Friday, despite a "Black Boogeyman" stereotype he cited to justify his fear of the unarmed teenager.

Bishop O.C. Allen III stands outside his church, a few feet away from Confederate Avenue in Atlanta.

Say Goodbye to Confederate Avenue

Atlanta is still working on rebranding streets named after Confederate figures.

A man sits facing a flooded parking lot and apartment buildings on the other side.

The Black Communities That Have Fought for Their Right to Exist in the Carolinas

The African-American families embroiled in litigation against toxic animal-feeding operations join a long history of black communities fighting for the right to their health in the Carolinas.

A man stands on a railway bridge to check the level of a flooded river.

Mapping Where Environmental Justice Is Most Threatened in the Carolinas

Eight places have long been vulnerable—and without them, we may not have the language, knowledge, and tools to fight environmental injustice in the age of climate change.

Philadelphia's police captain

‘Policing for Profit’ in Philadelphia Comes to an End

For decades, the city’s police department confiscated the property and cash of criminal suspects, even without convicting them of a crime, and used those seized assets to pay their salaries and buy equipment. No more.

Why Won’t Ben Carson Confront Discrimination?

HUD Secretary Ben Carson announced that he would be launching a “landlord engagement listening tour” later this month, but discrimination by many landlords can already be heard quite loudly.

How Rahm Emanuel Blew It on Police Reform

The Chicago trial of police officer Jason Van Dyke for killing Laquan McDonald is imminent. But even a guilty verdict can’t salvage Mayor Rahm Emanuel's legacy on police reform.

In Florida: A Throughline from Trayvon Martin to Andrew Gillum

Andrew Gillum, the first African-American candidate to win the Democratic nomination for governor of Florida, helped inspire the movement against the ”Stand Your Ground” law, launched after the murder of Trayvon Martin.

This photo from August 18 shows the home where Aretha Franklin was born, in Memphis, Tennessee. Franklin died two days earlier in her home in Detroit at age 76 from pancreatic cancer.

What’s Going on With Aretha Franklin’s Birth House in Memphis?

A community developer is hoping to turn Aretha Franklin’s birth home in Memphis into a place that honors her soul music legacy and the gospel music legacy of her father, Rev. C. L. Franklin.

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.