Darron T. Smith, Ph.D.
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Darron T. Smith, Ph.D., received his doctoral degree from the University of Utah in the Department of Education, Culture and Society. His research focus includes inequalities that pertain to African Americans and other Americans of color -- mainly the impact of race and discrimination in areas of health care, popular culture, religion, family, sports and politics. Dr. Smith is co-editor of Black and Mormon (University of Illinois Press, 2004) and author of White Parents, Black Children: Experiencing Transracial Adoption (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2011). Dr. Smith has appeared on various TV and radio shows including Religion and Ethics, NPR and ESPN, among others. His published works have been included in Adoption Today, Religion Dispatches, Deadspin and Your Black World, and he has also published op-eds in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune.

Follow him on Twitter @DrDarronSmith or visit him at darronsmith.com.

Entries by Darron T. Smith, Ph.D.

The Resurgence of the British Musical Invasion: America, Meet The UK's Newest Artist, Sammie Jay!

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 11:35 PM


Sammie Jay. Remember that name. She will become a household item in the coming future just as surely and quickly as her contemporary Sam Smith rose to fame seemingly overnight. She is the newest artist to emerge on the soul and...

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Get Your Foot Off My Neck: The Emancipation of the Black College Athlete

(2) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 5:57 PM


There has been growing interest nationally over whether Division I colleges and universities should treat student athletes as employees and pay them accordingly for their highly regarded talent. On the heels of this ongoing debate comes a surprise ruling by the National Labor...

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America's Persistent Struggle to Love Black Youth

(4) Comments | Posted March 19, 2014 | 9:17 PM


"America eats its babies. No matter what y'all think about me, I'm still your child."
--Tupac Sakur

Black children are presently under continual assault by well-maintained practices of white racial domination and exclusion, resulting in the marginalization of Africans and African Americans...

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Kieran Romney and the Paradox of Transracial Adoption

(68) Comments | Posted January 2, 2014 | 3:19 PM

Melissa Harris-Perry recently drew the ire of many of her viewers and critics for leading a panel where the family of the former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was teased seemingly for transracially adopting a Black child. Harris-Perry, along with her panelists, made remarks in reference to the Romney's rearing...

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The Mormon Church Disavows Its Racist Past But Still Offers No Apology

(3) Comments | Posted December 16, 2013 | 11:29 AM


On December 6, 2013, the Mormon Church made yet another historical landmark by disavowing the racist theories that were used to justify prohibiting Blacks from full church participation through a ban in effect until 1978. Though done surreptitiously on its website,...

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A New Case for African American Reparations: A Simple Three-Part Plan

(129) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 8:49 AM

Photo courtesy of I Was A Slave

The idea of reparations is not new. Yet, in today's presumed colorblind and post-racial society, many white Americans are convinced that the enduring legacy of racial inequities facing the black community are best...

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The Epigenetics of Being Black and Feeling Blue: Understanding African American Vulnerability to Disease

(5) Comments | Posted October 14, 2013 | 12:26 PM

Black Americans and other Americans of color have endured many hardships ever since twenty Africans set foot in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. For 85% percent of our nation's existence, white-imposed systems of oppression via slavery and Jim Crow "separate but equal" were...

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Why America Should Not Tolerate Low Pay for Fast Food Workers

(57) Comments | Posted September 12, 2013 | 3:07 PM


Capitalism's emphasis on property rights has been historically fraught with peril since its inception as an economic force in the Western world. Capitalism is an economic system in which assets are privately owned and commodities and services are produced for profit...

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It Ain't Just About the Word: Tell Us How You Really Feel, Riley

(3) Comments | Posted August 6, 2013 | 5:48 PM

The power of sport in the American psyche and the lengths to which competitive play entertains and thrills fans is one reason why we watch sports. Americans are equally captivated by the personal lives of athletes off the field -- from their charity and romances to their antics and meltdowns....

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Echoes of Cosby in Don Lemon's Call For Blacks to Clean up Their Act

(6) Comments | Posted August 5, 2013 | 11:05 AM

2013-08-02-Unknown.jpeg The idea of black people blaming each other for their own demise under a centuries-old system of white supremacy is nothing new in U.S. society. Just as white Americans have been socialized and racially primed to view black Americans through a "deficit lens," it...

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The State of Black Men From an American President

(2) Comments | Posted July 30, 2013 | 10:49 AM

The reactions to the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman verdict reveal a great deal of information about this society's misguided beliefs on race and the willingness of its people to remain steadfast and dogmatically defend their beliefs, despite statistical evidence contrary to their views. President Obama's seemingly off-script remarks on...

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Glory Hallelujah: Did Trayvon Martin Get What He Deserved?

(6) Comments | Posted July 16, 2013 | 12:08 PM

As Jesus taught his followers during his earthly ministry in the early first century to love and accept everyone as we all fall short before the eyes of God, it is shocking that members of the Christian right would use the death of Trayvon as a sermon on God's intended...

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A Father's Day Letter to His Daughter

(5) Comments | Posted June 13, 2013 | 1:28 PM

My dear sweet daughter,

The moment I laid eyes on you, I fell deeply in love. You cannot imagine that deep feeling of a love for anyone until you have children of your own. I knew from those first few days, weeks and months that I had an enormous...

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Has Lifting the LDS Priesthood Ban in 1978 Engendered Blacks Athletes to Attend BYU?

(11) Comments | Posted June 7, 2013 | 2:15 PM

Thirty-five years ago marked a significant shift in policy for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) when it lifted its priesthood ban against black males. For much of its history as an organized religion (1830-2013), the LDS Church denied people of African ancestry full rights and...

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Murder, Mayhem and Memphis: Lessons From My White Neighbor About Blacks

(30) Comments | Posted May 22, 2013 | 4:31 PM

In a casual conversation in what was meant to welcome me to my new city, a white neighbor uncomfortably reminded of me the aversive racial challenges that remain very much intact in the South between white folk and people of color when he candidly referenced the degree of crime in...

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My Blues Are Not Your Blues: Moving Beyond the Stigma of Race and Homosexuality by Engaging the Church

(45) Comments | Posted May 10, 2013 | 4:09 PM

Gay and lesbian issues have come to the forefront of American society. Even with the legislative changes occurring at the governmental levels, real societal changes (on any front) will not fully take place until the nation succeeds in building an infrastructure of care or compassion that is sustainable beyond empty...

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How Do You Define Race? Lessons From HuffPost Live

(9) Comments | Posted April 3, 2013 | 12:01 PM

Discussing the thorny subject of race is often polemical to such an extent that most folk simply ignore the discussion all together, particularly white Americans who are typically disengaged as it pertains to matters of race and the history of American racism. Many are completely unaware of the historical facts...

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Public Schools and the School-to-Prison Pipeline

(14) Comments | Posted March 19, 2013 | 3:45 PM

Despite 50 years of desegregation and other significant school change efforts, students from disenfranchised social groups in the United States continue to receive substandard K-12 education and have significantly less access to higher education and other valued social opportunities and resources. In particular, black males are more severely punished, placed...

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Images of Black Males in Popular Media

(7) Comments | Posted March 14, 2013 | 4:51 PM

Regardless of whether they believe in them or not, most people in U.S. society are well aware of the many visceral stereotypes and images surrounding black males. These negative representations of black males are readily visible and conveyed to the public through the news, film, music videos, reality television and...

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Can Love Overcome Race in Transracial Adoption?

(30) Comments | Posted February 28, 2013 | 5:53 PM

The recent explosion in transracial adoptions (white parents adopting black children) within United States, especially by high profile celebrities such as Sandra Bullock, Madonna and Angelina Jolie, sends a inaccurate message to ordinary Americans that race, racism and the persistence of discrimination has all but faded from our national memory....

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