To Fulfill These Rights traces the adoption and rollback of affirmative action and open admissions policies in higher education, centering political struggle over race and class politics. I document challenges to affirmative action and open admissions in four regionally distinct sites after the landmark Supreme Court case Regents of University of California v. Bakke (1978) : University of California, University of Michigan, University of Texas-Austin, and City University of New York. Through political struggle, conservative political actors, liberal administrators and legislators, and radical students define, challenge, and transform racial practice and ideas, upholding and confronting post-civil rights American racial hegemony. By studying political contestation over affirmative action and open admissions, I contribute insight into how the racial logics of colorblindness and diversity reify racial hegemony. Additionally, I draw attention to the ways that elite and grassroots mobilization drive racial formation in the twenty-first century.
Michael Omi says: "A truly unique, compelling, and expansive account of how both elite and grassroots political actors define, challenge, and transform admissions policies and practices...An essential read for an unsettled debate."
Ellen Berrey says: "I learned something new and interesting on nearly every page. This is an excellent empirical engagement with affirmative action. Amaka Okechukwu’s updated racial formation theory is smart, compelling, and engaging."
Aldon Morris says: "This book should be read because it sheds lights on deeply entrenched inequalities threatening American democracy."
September 09, 2019