Brentin Mock

Brentin Mock

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

Two men plant a young tree in a lot in Detroit.

Why Detroit Residents Pushed Back Against Tree-Planting

Detroiters were refusing city-sponsored “free trees.” A researcher found out the problem: She was the first person to ask them if they wanted them.

Angela Y. Davis addresses a crowd at the New England School of Law Friday, Jan. 23, 1998.

Why Angela Davis Doesn’t Fit Into Birmingham’s Civil Rights Narrative

The revocation of the Shuttlesworth award for Angela Davis by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute highlights who is deciding the city’s civil rights narrative.

A photo of marchers in Memphis commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 2018.

2018 Was Just 1968 All Over Again

Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King was assassinated. But the racist housing and policing policies he was fighting are still with us.

Photo of a census envelope

Would Top Census Officials Hand Over Citizenship Status Data?

“No,” says a former chief demographer; they would resign before allowing the Trump administration to violate the confidentiality prized by Census Bureau culture.

Stockbridge, Georgia

Why the Vote to Secede From a Black City Failed in Georgia

There were many reasons to oppose letting Eagle’s Landing tear apart the city of Stockbridge, but it shouldn’t have even been on the ballot in the first place.

A home with a sign that says auction.

The Brazen Redlining Happening in Cleveland

A real estate agency has made a modern redlining map of Cleveland, but in a time of rising home prices, some say it might have the unintended effect of keeping housing affordable.

A woman holds a sign saying 'Vote Yes on 2.'

How Louisiana’s Amendment 2 Will Make Black Jurors Matter

The Louisiana vote to end non-unanimous jury verdicts, plus a new law restoring voting rights to people who've been convicted of felony crimes, equals a hobbling attack on Jim Crow.

A tower in the middle of Stockbridge's main commercial district.

The Strangest Form of White Flight

The wealthy residents of Eagle's Landing voted Tuesday on whether to secede from the metro Atlanta city of Stockbridge, just after a black mayor and an all-black city council took office.

Former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu addresses CityLab Detroit

Mitch Landrieu Is Not Running From Race

The former New Orleans mayor wants everyone to know that there is a way to talk about race in America, and Donald Trump—that ain’t it.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh addresses CityLab Detroit.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh Is Willing to Tear It All Down

In her first two years, the troubled city’s mayor has had no shortage of challenges and controversies.

People gather for a vigil in the aftermath of a deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

The Synagogue Shooting in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill Was an Attack on Sanctuary

The neighborhood that was home to the Tree of Life Synagogue is a model of inclusivity in Pittsburgh. That’s why it was so vulnerable.

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.