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Carl S. Taylor: Where Scholarship Meets The Streets

If you aren't familiar with Michigan State University sociologist Carl S. Taylor, you need to correct that as soon as you can get to a bookstore. A Detroit native, Carl ranks among the best minds this city has produced -- no small feat in a town that has also given us Michael Eric Dyson and Thomas Sugrue -- and he continues to do some of the most important work in the country on the crises facing urban youth. And his work doesn't just resonate with academics, but also with the communities and young people he writes about, because Carl is just plain real. He doesn't hustle simple solutions, doesn't claim any easy wins. But as the recent on-the-street interview with him below shows, he also doesn't stop believing in the potential of this city to find new glory.

You really want to put together a "committee to save Detroit?" You could do worse than starting with Carl Taylor -- but not much better.

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  • 1

    As an urban educator, I tell my students all the time that nothing is more powerful than a developed intellect that also intellectually understands the streets. It will take, without question, warriors of Dr. Taylors' stature to cure any number of the challenges this city faces today and for years to come. Dr. Taylor is a product of the very city that continues to receive very little positive coverage from publications like Time.

    His love for the city of Detroit and his connection to urban youth should serve as an example to other scholars of how to best put their scholarship into practice. Dr. Taylor researches the streets and, in turn, feels compelled to make his contribution to making the streets a better place for young people...and that truly is...where scholarship meets the streets.

    Good job Dr. Taylor...Keep it real...and keep us informed!!!

  • 2

    It has been my privilege to know Dr. Taylor for a number of years, and I have found him to be intelligent, devoted, and courageous on behalf of Detroit's young people. If we can find some more good men and women who are willing to rekindle hope in the neighborhoods and be as humble and strong as Dr. Taylor, Detroit's lights will shine again.

  • 3

    I've been working with Doc for about 15 years now and know firsthand of his commitment to Detroit and beyond. He does not wait for a grant to come through in order to put a program in place or help his students, kids, and people. I have seen him go into his own pocket many times in order to make things happen. I have witnessed him track a young man down that was turned down for a job at a restaurant we were having breakfast at and give him his card and offer to help in any way that he can. He is gentle soul and kind spirit wrapped up in a warrior package. Kudos Doc, it had been a blessing working for you and with you!

  • 4

    Ok..typos to correct. 1.He is [a] gentle, [has] I still work for Doc and look forward to working for him in the years ahead.

    Moving too fast and as you always say Doc, "I was burning rubber."

    Peace -

  • 5

    Dr Taylor is an exemplary example of an intellectual because he cares. He reaches out to his students, he reaches out to the people of Detroit, and he reaches out to humanity at large. Not only do we need more scholars like him, we need more people who are willing to make a positive difference on a physical and spiritual level.

  • 6

    [...] Society, by Carl S. Taylor — I've already said it: Carl S. Taylor is one of the most important sociologists in the nation -- and probably the most [...]

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