“Black Advantage Vision: Flipping the Script on Racial Inequality Research”
Dr. Mary Pattillo
Friday, March 24th, 2023 from 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Trabant Theater
Zoom Link :


This talk is a provocative invitation to a new research agenda for the study of racial inequality. Black Advantage Vision turns racial inequality and stratification research on its head by actively looking for domains in which Black people do better than White people. Black Advantage Vision builds from two premises: first, that the social sciences reproduce stigma in our research and teaching, and second that students internalize the stigma of Black disadvantage research. In this talk, I define and elaborate on the concept, acknowledge existing statements that challenge anti-Black frameworks, review empirical studies that find Black advantage, and outline how to deploy Black Advantage Vision in new research.

Dr. Mary Pattillo is the Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and Chair of African American Studies at Northwestern University. “Dr. Patillo’s areas of interest include race and ethnicity, urban sociology, inequality, housing, education, criminal legal studies, Black communities, and qualitative methods. In her first book, Black Picket Fences (University of Chicago Press, 1999), Pattillo investigates the economic, spatial, and cultural forces that affect child-rearing and youth socialization in a black middle-class neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side…In her second book, Black on the Block (University of Chicago Press 2007) focused on gentrification and public housing transformation in North Kenwood – Oakland on Chicago’s South Side…Other projects in Chicago and Illinois include a study of how Black parents negotiate school choice and how families make housing choices, and research on the system of monetary sanctions—fines, fees, and other financial penalties—in the criminal legal system. Outside of Chicago, Pattillo co-edited Imprisoning America: The Social Effects of Mass Incarceration (Russell Sage, 2004) and has studied the Black middle class in Latin America, and is working on a new research paradigm called ‘Black Advantage Vision.'” (Biography Source)