The Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s gave Black people in the United States the right to make their way into businesses, schools and public places previously occupied exclusively by white citizens. But even with the end of segregation laws, many perceived “white spaces” still exist, presenting questions about control, conformity, code-switching, and stereotypes that are difficult to face. Who’s in charge when it comes to setting social norms? How does race impact the assumptions we make about someone’s background and education?
A white space in 2022 can be a predominantly white academic field, a certain neighborhood or part of the country, or a workplace lacking diversity, says Yale University sociologist Elijah Anderson. He joins us to discuss his new book, Black in White Space, which explains the impact of these spaces on everyday life and the unique challenges facing Black Americans trying to navigate them. KAYR Robinson, a Philadelphia native featured in the book — with a full chapter dedicated to his life– also joins us to tell his story.
Elijah Anderson is the Sterling Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Yale University and author of many books. His latest is Black in White Space: The Enduring Impact of Color in Everyday Life (@ElijaAnderson)
KAYR Robinson is a Philadelphia native, real estate investor and co-founder of KAYJAY Consulting