White Money, Black Power: The Surprising History of African American Studies and the Crisis of Race in Higher Education

Noliwe M. Rooks, Author . Beacon $25.95 (213p) ISBN 978-0-8070-3270-1

The first university-level black studies program, now 36 years old, grew out of student unrest, activism and a strike organized by both blacks and whites at San Francisco State. Similar programs spread quickly across the country, largely through the financing of the Ford Foundation, which shaped the programs' future through selective grant giving. Never entirely at ease with its sources of power and institutional identity, African-American studies today faces declining student enrollment and a demographic shift away from black Americans toward students with African or Caribbean backgrounds. In this concise, compelling volume, Rooks, the associate director of Princeton's African American studies program, recreates the social and political contexts of the discipline's history, paying particular attention to its past reliance on white philanthropy and involvement. The field must confront this legacy, she argues, if it is to escape the paradox where "Blackness... means too much and, at the same time, remarkably little"—a vagueness that allows university administrators to use programs as "an Affirmative Action strategy... despite the fact that the students it serves and the faculty it houses are often not African American." Perhaps too specialized for general readers, this volume is a must for anyone working in the field. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/05/2005
Release date: 02/01/2006
Show other formats
Paperback - 978-0-618-80239-5
Paperback - 213 pages - 978-0-8070-3271-8
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.