The State Must Provide: Why America’s Colleges Have Always Been Unequal—And How to Set Them Right

Adam Harris. Ecco, $27.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-297648-2
Atlantic staff writer Harris debuts with a sharp and vigorous examination of “the lasting wounds of segregation in higher education.” He traces the battle over equal access from the establishment of the South’s first integrated college in 1855, through the Jim Crow era, when Southern states such as Missouri avoided creating in-state programs for Black graduate students by paying to send them to schools in other states, to recent Supreme Court decisions against race-conscious admissions that have kept Black enrollments disproportionately low. The history is enriched with vivid portraits of pioneers such as George Washington Carver, who attended Iowa’s Simpson College in 1891; Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, on whose behalf the NAACP fought to integrate the University of Oklahoma; and Lloyd Gaines, who disappeared after winning his discrimination lawsuit against the University of Missouri School of Law. Harris concludes with a look at contemporary battles over state funding for historically Black colleges and universities and efforts by students and scholars, including Ruth Simmons, the first Black president of an Ivy League university, to examine the “legacies of slavery and discrimination” at American colleges. Fluently organized and lucidly written, this thought-provoking exposé is a worthy contribution to the debate over how to make American education more equitable. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 04/15/2021
Release date: 08/10/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-06-297649-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-6651-0106-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-6651-0107-3
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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