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African American Studies Graduate Student Wins Horowitz Awards

Jackson Bartlett investigating the impacts of Detroit’s master plan on black middle class

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June 17, 2014 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Jackson Bartlett, a doctoral candidate in the department of African American studies, was recently awarded two awards from the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy to conduct a year of fieldwork in Detroit.

One of 16 scholars to receive a $7,500 grant from the independent foundation that supports social science research, Bartlett also received the John L. Stanley Award for “work that seeks to expand our understanding of the political and ethical implications of policy research.

According to Bartlett, the media often portrays Detroit as a city of extremes -- either as a “renaissance city” coming back from the brink or as a backward outlier in an otherwise progressive urban society. In his dissertation, “Undeveloping Detroit,” the Michigan native seeks to push back against popular and scholarly misconceptions of Detroit.

Bartlett’s work focuses on race and urban politics, policy and social processes in the Rust Belt. He suggests that the stereotypes of Detroit focus on its so-called white “urban pioneers” and/or its poor black residents at the expense of the city’s large black working and middle class population. Bartlett’s adviser is Mary Patillo, Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and African American Studies.

The two Horowitz Foundation awards will allow Bartlett to do research in Detroit’s Bagley neighborhood in his efforts to investigate the impacts of city’s master plan on black middle class neighborhoods.

Topics: People