Bruce D. Haynes was born in Harlem, New York. After receiving his B.A. in Sociology from Manhattanville College, he conducted applied research, under sociologist and jury expert Jay Schulman, selecting juries for trials throughout New York state. From there, he went on to earn his doctorate in sociology from the City University of New York (1995) and was appointed Assistant Professor of Sociology and African-American Studies at Yale University in 1995. In 2001, he joined the faculty at the University of California, Davis, where he now serves as Professor of Sociology. In addition, he is a Senior Fellow in the Urban Ethnography Project at Yale University.