Harris exposes the menace in the mundane. Through vivid storytelling, he documents how white presidents of all-white, state flagship universities worked tirelessly alongside state lawmakers throughout much of the 20th century to keep segregation alive to the detriment of Black colleges ... is about more than inequities in higher education. It is a meditation on racism and inequality in America ... Harris’s writing is as refreshing as it is haunting. His sobering account of Gaines, a sharecroppers’ son who became the lead complainant in the 1938 Supreme Court case, conveys the toll of uplifting the race ... Harris evokes a sense of urgency by laying out the stakes of letting longstanding inequalities among our colleges and universities continue as they are. He joins a new wave of scholars like Eddie Cole, Cristina Groeger, Matthew Johnson and Crystal Sanders looking critically at how race, education and history intertwine to shape our present-day reality ... a must-read, detailing the complex dynamics that both reflect our nation’s dark history and show us the way toward a more equitable future.
Harris weaves a compelling narrative that highlights how, across its history, the U.S. higher-education system has perpetrated discriminatory practices toward Black students that still exist today ... Harris writes very clearly and illuminates historical examples of opportunities and racial-discriminatory practices in higher education while exploring federal and state governments’ responses when it came to segregation and desegregation practices in higher-education systems. This thought-provoking, timely, and engaging read gives space to subject matter that has largely gone ignored and unaddressed, and offers readers much food for thought on the topic of discrimination and systemic racism in higher education.
... sharp and vigorous ... The history is enriched with vivid portraits of pioneers such as George Washington Carver ... Fluently organized and lucidly written, this thought-provoking exposé is a worthy contribution to the debate over how to make American education more equitable.