Adam Harris on Racial Inequity in Higher Education and How ‘The State Must Provide

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Students and members of the administration at Howard University hold a rally against sexual assault on the campus of the university April 11, 2016 in Washington, DC (Win McNamee via Getty Images)

A 2018 analysis by the Center for American Progress estimates that state colleges allocate more than $1,000 less per year for Black and Latinx students than white students. Americas colleges and universities have a dirty open secret: they have never given Black people an equal chance to succeed, writes Atlantic staff writer Adam Harris in his new book, The State Must Provide. Harris traces the laws and practices that established racial inequality and segregation in higher education back to slave codes through Plessy v. Ferguson and the overturning of affirmative action policies. He joins us to discuss this history of racial exclusion and segregation and his argument that financial support of historically Black colleges and universities could act as a form of reparations.


Adam Harris, staff writer, The Atlantic; author, "The State Must Provide: Why America's Colleges Have Always Been Unequal--and How to Set Them Right"