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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

Entries by Darron T. Smith, Ph.D.

The Missouri Effect: Finishing What Kareem and Others Have Started

(3) Comments | Posted November 11, 2015 | 1:36 PM

Co-authored by Tasha Sabino

Amid racial tensions on the campus of the University of Missouri, the student protest group, Concerned Student 1950, demanded the resignation of University President Tim Wolfe after mishandling several racialized incidents. At the center of the protests was graduate student and activist Jonathan Butler who began...

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Have the Religious Right Hijacked Marriage?

(122) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 6:30 PM

Co-authored with Tasha Sabino

Not everyone is celebrating the latest Supreme Court ruling granting all consenting adults the right to marry. Those who oppose the new law of the land tend to be conservative Christians who argue the religious nature of the term. By definition, marriage...

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The Office Can Be as Hostile as the Hood

(3) Comments | Posted June 18, 2015 | 10:54 AM

There are multiple ways to kill a black body. Whether it is in an instant from a bullet, prolonged from the repeated blows of a police baton or slow and agonizing from the constant barrage of microaggresions in the workplace, the results are the still the same--the certainty...

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The Silent Campaign by the US Government to Brand American Soldiers as Criminals

(59) Comments | Posted June 5, 2015 | 3:17 PM

Co-authored with Liz Ullman

The violence inflicted on US soldiers is not always confined to a remote battlefield in a distant land from armed insurgents. Only recently has it become known that veteran's are dying right here at home as they await medical care from the VA healthcare...

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The Historical Context of the Ferguson Riots

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2014 | 4:14 PM


An eruption of violence unfolded on national television last Monday night after the city of Ferguson, Missouri, learned that Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted by the St. Louis County grand jury for the killing of Michael Brown Jr., yet another young,...

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She Looks Black, but Her Politics Are Red: What Mia Love's Victory Means for the Face of the GOP

(775) Comments | Posted November 6, 2014 | 6:20 PM

Mia Love made history on Election Night 2014 as she beat out Democratic contender Doug Owens to become the first black (Haitian-American), female Republican to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. This is a stunning triumph in the predominately white and conservative state of Utah, where only 1.3...

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The Transformation of Justin Bieber From a White Youth to a Black Man

(271) Comments | Posted October 2, 2014 | 11:09 AM

In what took Usher most of his 20-year music career to accomplish, it took Justin Bieber just a short five years to reap similar financial success and actually surpass his mentor. Usher Raymond IV was an R&B phenom who started his career much like Bieber as a young teen and...

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

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2014 | 12:35 AM


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 | 6:57 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 | 10:17 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 | 4:19 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 | 12:29 PM


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 | 9:49 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 | 1:26 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 | 4:07 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 | 6:48 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 | 12:05 PM

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 | 11:49 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 | 1:08 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 | 2:28 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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