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Troy Duster

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Information about Troy Duster

Profile image of Troy Duster

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Sociology Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Pass It On.

Birthplace

Born:
7/11/1936
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Sociology Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Pass It On.

Birthplace

Born:
7/11/1936
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how Troy Duster is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Sociology professor and author Troy Duster was born on July 11, 1936, in Chicago, Illinois. The son of Alfreda Duster, a community organizer, he was raised on the south side of Chicago. His extraordinary grandmother, Ida B. Wells, was born a slave in 1862 in Mississippi, months before the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. She became an editor and co-owner of The Free Speech and Headlight, a local African American newspaper in Memphis, Tennessee, and was among the first generation of writers to invent investigative journalism. She continued her tireless crusade for equal rights for African Americans until her death in 1931. Duster’s father died when he was nine, leaving behind his mother, sister, and two older brothers. Becoming editor of his high school newspaper and graduating first in his class, Duster attended Northwestern University where he studied journalism and sociology. Earning his B.S. degree in journalism in 1957, he continued his studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he earned his M.A. degree in sociology in 1959. In 1962, he was awarded his PhD in sociology from Northwestern University.

In 1999, Duster became professor of sociology and director of the Institute for the History of the Production of Knowledge at New York University. He is also the Chancellor’s Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 1970. In 2004, he served a one-year term as president of the American Sociological Association. Duster’s research and writing have ranged across a variety of subject areas: the sociology of law, science, deviance, inequality, race and education. In 1970, his first book, The Legislation of Morality: Drugs, Crime, and Law became a classic in the drug field.

Duster is co-author of Whitewashing Race: The Myth of a Color-Blind Society (2003), which won the Benjamin Hooks Award and was a finalist for the C. Wright Mills Award in 2004. Among his other awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship at the London School of Economics; an honorary Doctor of Letters from Williams College; and the Dubois-Johnson-Frazier Award from the American Sociological Association. With his siblings, Duster established the Ida B. Wells Foundation, which gives awards to journalists and researchers working in Wells’ tradition of writing and speaking out for civil rights, civil liberties and social justice.

Duster lives in New York with his family.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Troy Duster's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Troy Duster lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Troy Duster describes his mother, Alfreda Barnett
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Troy Duster talks about his maternal grandmother, activist Ida B. Wells' background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Troy Duster talks about his maternal grandmother, activist Ida B. Wells' background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Troy Duster recounts his maternal grandmother, activist Ida B. Wells' journalistic career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Troy Duster describes the community of Mound Bayou, Mississippi, and his maternal grandfather, Ferdinand Barnett
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Troy Duster describes his father, Benjamin Duster's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Troy Duster recounts his father, Benjamin Duster's education at Indiana State University in Terre Haute
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Troy Duster recounts how his parents, Benjamin Duster and Alfreda Barnett, met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Troy Duster talks about his parents and siblings during the Great Depression
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Troy Duster talks about his maternal grandfather, Ferdinand Barnett, and growing up in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Troy Duster recalls growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois during the 1940s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Troy Duster describes social dynamics and group signaling among black Chicago youth during the 1940s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Troy Duster describes his home life growing up in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Troy Duster recalls race relations in Chicago, Illinois, and the reaction to Emmett Till's 1955 murder
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Troy Duster compares the reactions to the Emmett Till, O.J. Simpson, and Rodney King cases
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Troy Duster recalls the reaction to the Brown v. Board of Education verdict
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Troy Duster recalls entering Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and the racial makeup there
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Troy Duster describes studying journalism and then sociology at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Troy Duster talks about his mother, Alfreda Barnett's education at the University of Chicago
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Troy Duster recalls his interest in journalism at Wendell Phillips Academy High School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Troy Duster recounts switching from studying journalism to studying sociology
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Troy Duster talks about his decision to pursue a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of California - Los Angeles
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Troy Duster describes the University of California - Los Angeles sociology department during the late 1950s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Troy Duster describes the fledgling state of the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Troy Duster talks about his relationship with his mother, Alfreda Barnett during the 1950s