Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Brent Staples  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: Chester, Pennsylvania

-- Brent Staples on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Brent Staples has a doctorate in psychology from the University Of Chicago. He has been a Adjunct Professor of Psychology at colleges in both Pennsylvania and Chicago, 1977-81. He was a reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, 1982-83.

Biographical and Professional Information

Brent Staple is currently an editorial writer, specializing in politics and culture, for the New York Times.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Passing for White: A Secret History of Race in America (The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures)
ISBN: 0674010787

Harvard University Press. 0

Parallel Time: Growing Up in Black and White
ISBN: 1435242505

Paw Prints 2008-04-18. 2008

In this evocative memoir, Brent Staples poses some compelling questions: Where does the family end the self begin? What do we owe our families and what do we owe ourselves? What part of the past is a gift and what part a shackle?

As the oldest son among nine children, Brent grew up in a small industrial town near Philadelphia. Scholarship opportunities pulled him out of the black world where he had grown up into a world largely defined by whites. Meanwhile, as the industries that supported his hometown failed, and drug dealing rushed in to fill the economic void, news of arrests and premature deaths among Brent's childhood friends underscored his precarious perch in a mostly white environment. The death of his younger brother -- a cocaine dealer murdered by one of his "clients" -- propelled Brent into a reconsideration of his childhood that offers vivid portraits of family values that supported, pressures that tore apart, and the appeal and pain of living as an adult in a world that was literally and figuratively miles away from the one he knew as a child.


Danforth Fellowship for graduate study at University of Chicago, and Anisfield Wolff Book Award for , Parallel Time, Growing up in Black and White.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)