A University of Pittsburgh professor examines how student protest against structural inequalities on campus pushes academic institutions to reckon with their legacy built on slavery and stolen Indigenous lands
A particularly poignant censure is aimed at universities’ theatrically professed diversity and inclusion efforts, which Patel contends do not actually interrupt settler colonialism and indeed exploit the labor of people of color. Patel offers tangible examples of how settler colonialism is an ongoing, still-living practice. For example, departments studying marginalized peoples are still beholden to white, corporate models of promotion and measurements of success, and universities displace communities by buying land in historical neighborhoods. Thought-provoking interrogation for academics and reformers.
... though this book cites a wide range of sources to introduce readers to multiple perspectives, Patel uses rhetoric, rather than analysis, to convince and inspire, and skips from subject to subject without making a coherent argument ... While Patel gives readers an understanding of the activist rhetoric in higher education, she does not provide any examples of universities effectively addressing racism or offer concrete steps that universities should take to improve the situation.
Throughout, the author builds a multilayered discussion by referencing other scholars and her experiences as a teacher and mentor, portraying contemporary academia as a minefield for her bright, diverse students, many of whom carry the extra burden of being a 'model minority.' Overall, it’s a passionate and intermittently approachable work occasionally hampered by academic jargon. A lively, politically engaged jeremiad on issues of identity, multiculturalism, and efforts to redress enduring wrongs.