Over the last two weeks, as protests of how police treated Freddie Gray spread from Baltimore to other cities and claimed national media attention, much of America that had known nothing about West Baltimore, began to learn about it. One observer in New Jersey didn’t need an introduction.
In the 1990s Sociologist Patricia Fernandez-Kelly was a research scientist at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies. Her research into how de-industrialization was affecting city residents took her into West Baltimore. She immersed herself in the lives of several families, working to understand their experience and in particular, the relation between them and government.
The result is the book Fernandez-Kelly published this spring: "The Hero’s Fight—African-Americans in West Baltimore and the Shadow of the State". Patricia Fernandez-Kelly joins us from Princeton University, where she’s now a senior lecturer in sociology.