In 2014 and 2015, students at dozens of colleges and universities held protests demanding increased representation of Black and Latino students and calling for a campus climate that was less hostile to students of color. Their activism recalled an earlier era: in the 1960s and 1970s, widespread campus protest by Black and Latino students contributed to the development of affirmative action and open admissions policies. Yet in the decades since, affirmative action has become a magnet for conservative backlash and in many cases has been completely dismantled.
In To Fulfill These Rights: Political Struggle Over Affirmative Action and Open Admissions (Columbia University Press, 2019), Amaka Okechukwu offers a historically informed sociological account of the struggles over affirmative action and open admissions in higher education. Through case studies of policy retrenchment at public universities, she documents the protracted―but not always successful―rollback of inclusive policies in the context of shifting race and class politics. To Fulfill These Rights provides a new analysis of the politics of higher education, centering the changing understandings and practices of race and class in the United States.
Amaka Okechukwu is an Assistant Professor of sociology at George Mason University.
Schneur Zalman Newfield is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, and the author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (Temple University Press, 2020). Visit him online at ZalmanNewfield.com.