When Affirmative Action Was White: History Panel
Oct 1, 2005
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The Institute for Research in African-American Studies held a symposium to discuss Dr. Ira Katznelson’s book When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth Century
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The Institute for Research in African-American Studies held a symposium to discuss Dr. Ira Katznelson’s book When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth Century America, published by W. W. Norton and Company in 2005. The book argued that modern racial inequality in America grew from government policies enacted during the 1930s and 1940s intended to impede the socioeconomic progression of African-Americans.
The first panel discussed the history of affirmative action, including how veterans' benefits and New Deal programs benefited whites more than African-Americans. Mr. Katznelson wrote that the disparity that began during this era is a justification for the affirmative action policies of the modern era. Marcellus Blount moderated the discussion. Following the panel, participants responded to questions and comments from members of the audience.
Thomas Sugrue is the author of W.E.B. Dubois, Race, and the City: The Philadelphia Negro and Its Legacy, published by University of Pennsylvania Press.
Manning Marable is the author of The Great Wells of Democracy: The Meaning of Race in American Life, published by Basic Books.
Sudhir Venkatesh is the author of American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto, published by Harvard University Press.