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National race expert from South Bend back home to talk about book

Elijah Anderson, sociologist and urban ethnographer, Yale University
Elijah Anderson, sociologist and urban ethnographer, Yale University

It might seem like a long way from a childhood on Chestnut Street in South Bend to winning world renown as a sociologist at the prestigious Yale University, but Elijah Anderson has made that trip.

Anderson’s returning home Thursday, when he’ll give a talk titled, “Black in White Space: An Evening With Dr. Elijah Anderson,” at the St. Joe County Public Library’s Main Branch downtown South Bend. He’ll talk from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Ballroom, taking questions afterward.

Anderson, now 80, is one of the nation’s leading urban ethnographers, and the author of several books about the Black experience. He’ll talk about his fifth and most recent book, “Black in White Space,” published last year, and about his life growing up in South Bend.

Anderson said the nation’s Black middle class is larger than in it’s ever been, thanks to opportunities from Affirmative Action, which the Supreme Court last year ruled can no longer be used for college admissions.

"These backlashes occur periodically in American society," Anderson said. "But I want to say that basically we've made tremendous progress over the years in this country. At the same time we have a long way to go."

Listen to Karl Smith's conversation with Elijah Anderson.

Parrott, a longtime public radio fan, comes to WVPE with about 25 years of journalism experience at newspapers in Indiana and Michigan, including 13 years at The South Bend Tribune. He and Kristi live in Granger and have two children currently attending Indiana University in Bloomington. In his free time he enjoys fixing up their home, following his favorite college and professional sports teams, and watching TV (yes that's an acceptable hobby).