Cassi Pittman Claytor

Associate Professor; Acting Co-Director of African & African American Studies Minor

Mather Memorial Building 223E

Other Information

Education: Ph.D. Harvard University, 2012

Dr. Cassi Pittman Claytor, author of Black Privilege: Modern Middle-Class Blacks with Credentials and Cash to Spend (Stanford University Press) is the Climo Junior Professor of Sociology at Case Western Reserve University and the Acting Co-Director of the African and African American Studies Minor. Her research focuses on how racial minorities, particularly Blacks, manage contemporary forms of racism with the goal of uncovering how contemporary processes of social exclusion and inequality function to disadvantage racial minorities. In Pittman Claytor’s new book Black Privilege she enriches our understanding of the Black middle class, drawing on the firsthand accounts of Black New Yorkers to offer original analysis as to what middle-class status buys Blacks who have cultural capital, credentials, and cash on hand.

Pittman Claytor is a nationally recognized scholar on the unfortunate, yet all too common phenomena of ”Shopping While Black.” Her research unpacks the underlying processes driving retail racism and highlights how racial bias and racism impact every stage of the consumer journey. She has investigated African Americans’ experiences in the consumer market, as well as the mortgage market. In recognition of her work, Pittman Claytor was just named as one of 100 People Transforming Business by Business Insider.

In 2019 Sephora brought Pittman Claytor on board in their effort to systematically study the problem. She served as the research lead, designing and assisting in the orchestration of a first-of-its-kind, national study of racial bias and exclusionary treatment in retail settings.

While an assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University she has been awarded the Woodrow Wilson Foundation’s Early Career Enhancement Fellowship and the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research’s Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellowship at Harvard University. Pittman Claytor received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Download / View CV