This month I spoke with Anna Branch, sociologist and senior Vice President of equity at Rutgers University. Of all the sociologists I’ve talked with so far, Anna was the first to question my starting point that these are especially dark times. She asked, dark compared to when, and for whom? We discussed this in the context of Anna and Catherine Hanley’s new book Work in Black and White: Striving for the American Dream, and also the looming rollback of affirmative action by the US Supreme Court later this summer. We also talked about the possibilities for solidarity between black and white workers in the U.S.