Tommie Shelby: Dark Ghettos – Injustice, Dissent, and Reform

This semester, the PPE Reading Group will discuss Tommie Shelby’s Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform (2016).

In his pathbreaking new book, Tommie Shelbie presents a new perspective on urban black neighborhoods in the U.S. that are characterized by poverty, violence, and instability. From this perspective, these ‘dark ghettos’ are not merely social problems to be fixed. Instead, they are symptoms of systemic injustice. This shift in perspective leads to novel questions about how the government may act with regard to these communities, but also about the obligations (or lack thereof) of the ghetto poor. Each chapter focuses on core dimensions of the phenomenon: Racism and wealth/income inequities, residential segregation, cultural configurations, reproductive choices, single-mother families, joblessness, crime, and mass incarceration.

The reading group is (provisionally) scheduled for every other Thursday from 4-5:30pm in the conference room of the Kellogg Center. Participation is open to students (whether you are already a PPE student or interested in becoming one) and select faculty.

PPE Core Faculty member Fabian Wendt ( will lead the reading group. Please sign up with him to receive your book in time to read. Enjoy free pizza and soft drinks with our discussions!

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