Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Polk State College is committed to equal access/equal opportunity in its programs, activities, and employment. For additional information, visit polk.edu/equity.
Welcome to the Polk State College library guide for affirmative action research topics. Below you will find suggested books/ebooks and recommended databases. If you need help, click the link for Ask a Librarian.
Justice Deferred by
Publication Date: 2021-05-31
In the first comprehensive accounting of the US Supreme Court's race-related jurisprudence, a distinguished historian and renowned civil rights lawyer scrutinize a legacy too often blighted by racial injustice. The Supreme Court is usually seen as protector of our liberties: it ended segregation, was a guarantor of fair trials, and safeguarded free speech and the vote. But this narrative derives mostly from a short period, from the 1930s to the early 1970s. Before then, the Court spent a century largely ignoring or suppressing basic rights, while the fifty years since 1970 have witnessed a mostly accelerating retreat from racial justice. From the Cherokee Trail of Tears to Brown v. Board of Education to the dismantling of the Voting Rights Act, historian Orville Vernon Burton and civil rights lawyer Armand Derfner shine a powerful light on the Court's race record--a legacy at times uplifting, but more often distressing and sometimes disgraceful. For nearly a century, the Court ensured that the nineteenth-century Reconstruction Amendments would not truly free and enfranchise African Americans. And the twenty-first century has seen a steady erosion of commitments to enforcing hard-won rights. Justice Deferred is the first book that comprehensively charts the Court's race jurisprudence. Addressing nearly two hundred cases involving America's racial minorities, the authors probe the parties involved, the justices' reasoning, and the impact of individual rulings. We learn of heroes such as Thurgood Marshall; villains, including Roger Taney; and enigmas like Oliver Wendell Holmes and Hugo Black. Much of the fragility of civil rights in America is due to the Supreme Court, but as this sweeping history also reminds us, the justices still have the power to make good on the country's promise of equal rights for all.
Silent Covenants by
Publication Date: 2004-04-19
When the landmark Supreme Court case of Brown vs. Board of Education was handed down in 1954, many civil rights advocates believed that the decision finding public school segregation unconstitutional could become the Holy Grail of racial justice. Fifty years later, despite its legalirrelevance and the racially separate and educationally ineffective state of public schooling for most black children, Brown is still viewed by many as the perfect precedent.Derrick Bell here shatters this shining image of one of the Court's most celebrated rulings. He notes that, despite the onerous burdens of segregation, many black schools functioned well and racial bigotry had not rendered blacks a damaged race. Brown's recognition of racial injustice, withoutmore, left racial barriers intact. Given what we now know about the pervasive nature of racism, the Court should have determined--for the first time--to rigorously enforce the "equal" component of the "separate but equal" standard.By striking it down, the Court intended both to improve the Nation's international image during the Cold War and offer blacks recognition that segregation was wrong. Instead, the Brown decision actually enraged and energized its opponents. It stirred confusion and conflict into the always vexingquestion of race in a society that, despite denials and a frustratingly flexible amnesia, owes much of its growth, development, and success, to the ability of those who dominate the society to use race to both control and exploit most people, black and white.Racial policy, Bell maintains, is made through silent covenants--unspoken convergences of interest and involuntary sacrifices of rights--that ensure that policies conform to priorities set by policy-makers. Blacks and whites are the fortuitous winners or losers in these unspoken agreements.The experience with Brown, Bell urges, should teach us that meaningful progress in the quest for racial justice requires more than the assertion of harms. Strategies must recognize and utilize the interest-convergence factors that strongly influence racial policy decisions. In Silent Covenants,Bell condenses more than four decades of thought and action into a powerful and eye-opening book.
Undermining Racial Justice by
Publication Date: 2020-04-15
Over the last sixty years, administrators on college campuses nationwide have responded to black campus activists by making racial inclusion and inequality compatible. This bold argument is at the center of Matthew Johnson's powerful and controversial book. Focusing on the University of Michigan, often a key talking point in national debates about racial justice thanks to the contentious Gratz v. Bollinger 2003 Supreme Court case, Johnson argues that UM leaders incorporated black student dissent selectively into the institution's policies, practices, and values. This strategy was used to prevent activism from disrupting the institutional priorities that campus leaders deemed more important than racial justice. Despite knowing that racial disparities would likely continue, Johnson demonstrates that these administrators improbably saw themselves as champions of racial equity. What Johnson contends in Undermining Racial Justice is not that good intentions resulted in unforeseen negative consequences, but that the people who created and maintained racial inequities at premier institutions of higher education across the United States firmly believed they had good intentions in spite of all the evidence to the contrary. The case of the University of Michigan fits into a broader pattern at elite colleges and universities and is a cautionary tale for all in higher education. As Matthew Johnson illustrates, inclusion has always been a secondary priority, and, as a result, the policies of the late 1970s and 1980s ushered in a new and enduring era of racial retrenchment on campuses nationwide.
The Affirmative Action Puzzle by
Call Number: Lakeland Circulation HF5549.5.A34 U76 2020
Publication Date: 2020-01-28
A multifaceted history of affirmative action from its inception through the past five decades. From acclaimed legal historian, author of a biography of Louis Brandeis ("Remarkable"--Anthony Lewis, NYROB; "Definitive"--Jeffrey Rosen, The New Republic) and Dissent in the Supreme Court ("Riveting"--Dahlia Lithwick, NYTBR), a history of affirmative action, from its beginning in 1961 with John F. Kennedy's Executive Order 10925, creating the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity, and mandating federal contractors to take "affirmative action" to ensure that there be no discrimination by "race, creed, color, or national origin." In this important and ambitious book, Urofsky writes about the affirmative action cases decided by the Supreme Court, cases that upheld as well as struck down particular plans, and those cases that affected both governmental and private entities. He writes in detail about the societal impact of affirmative action--how it has divided society, separating not only those for and against, but also splitting traditional allies. Urofsky's book explores affirmative action in relation to education, how nearly every public university in the country has at one time or another instituted some form of affirmative action plan, some successful, others not; and looks at whether affirmative action programs have benefited minorities. Urofsky's book looks at whether shifts over time can be discerned and if those changes can be attributed to affirmative action programs. The book explores as well the issue with regards to race and women, and if the question of economic and social advancement is different for each. More than ever before, affirmative action remains an important and divisive issue in American society, a divide as large and perhaps less bridgeable than abortion; a public policy question still (alas) very much alive.
Campus Diversity by
Call Number: Lakeland Circulation LC212.42 .C37 2020
Publication Date: 2019-12-19
Media, politicians, and the courts portray college campuses as divided over diversity and affirmative action. But what do students and faculty really think? This book uses a novel technique to elicit honest opinions from students and faculty and measure preferences for diversity in undergraduate admissions and faculty recruitment at seven major universities, breaking out attitudes by participants' race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, and political partisanship. Scholarly excellence is a top priority everywhere, but the authors show that when students consider individual candidates, they favor members of all traditionally underrepresented groups - by race, ethnicity, gender, and socio-economic background. Moreover, there is little evidence of polarization in the attitudes of different student groups. The book reveals that campus communities are less deeply divided than they are often portrayed to be; although affirmative action remains controversial in the abstract, there is broad support for prioritizing diversity in practice.
Living with Moral Disagreement: the enduring controversy about affirmative action by
Call Number: Polk/Lakeland Circulation -- LC213.52 .M67 2016
Publication Date: 2016-03-28
How to handle affirmative action is one of the most intractable policy problems of our era, touching on controversial issues such as race-consciousness and social justice. Much has been written both for and against affirmative action policies--especially within the realm of educational opportunity. In this book, philosopher Michele S. Moses offers a crucial new pathway for thinking about the debate surrounding educational affirmative action, one that holds up the debate itself as an important emblem of the democratic process. Central to Moses's analysis is the argument that we need to understand disagreements about affirmative action as inherently moral, products of conflicts between deeply held beliefs that shape differing opinions on what justice requires of education policy. As she shows, differing opinions on affirmative action result from different conceptual values, for instance, between being treated equally and being treated as an equal or between seeing race-consciousness as a pernicious political force or as a necessary variable in political equality. As Moses shows, although moral disagreements about race-conscious policies and similar issues are often seen as symptoms of dysfunctional politics, they in fact create rich opportunities for discussions about diversity that nourish democratic thought and life.
To Fulfill These Rights by
Call Number: Lakeland Circulation LC212.42 .O53 2019
Publication Date: 2019-09-03
In 2014 and 2015, students at dozens of colleges and universities held protests demanding increased representation of Black and Latino students and calling for a campus climate that was less hostile to students of color. Their activism recalled an earlier era: in the 1960s and 1970s, widespread campus protest by Black and Latino students contributed to the development of affirmative action and open admissions policies. Yet in the decades since, affirmative action has become a magnet for conservative backlash and in many cases has been completely dismantled. In To Fulfill These Rights, Amaka Okechukwu offers a historically informed sociological account of the struggles over affirmative action and open admissions in higher education. Through case studies of policy retrenchment at public universities, she documents the protracted--but not always successful--rollback of inclusive policies in the context of shifting race and class politics. Okechukwu explores how conservative political actors, liberal administrators and legislators, and radical students have defined, challenged, and transformed the racial logics of colorblindness and diversity through political struggle. She highlights the voices and actions of the students fighting policy shifts in on-the-ground accounts of mobilization and activism, alongside incisive scrutiny of conservative tactics and messaging. To Fulfill These Rights provides a new analysis of the politics of higher education, centering the changing understandings and practices of race and class in the United States. It is timely and important reading at a moment when a right-wing Department of Justice and Supreme Court threaten the end of affirmative action.
Academic Search Complete This link opens in a new window
Academic Search Complete, designed specifically for academic institutions, is the world's most valuable and comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database, with more than 5,300 full-text periodicals, including 4,400 peer-reviewed journals. In addition to full text, this database offers indexing and abstracts for more than 9,300 journals and a total of 10,900 publications including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc. The database features PDF content going back as far as 1865, with the majority of full text titles in native (searchable) PDF format.
America's News This link opens in a new window
With unmatched U.S. news content from local, regional, and national sources, this resource is the largest of its kind. Its diverse source types include printed and online newspapers, blogs, journals, newswires, broadcast transcripts and videos. Explore a specific issue or event through the detailed coverage provided by local reporting or compare a wide variety of viewpoints from across the country on topics such as politics, business, health, sports, cultural activities and people.
Expanded Academic ASAP This link opens in a new window
Resources for research across academic disciplines, offering in-depth coverage of
virtually any concentration from advertising, psychology and history to microbiology, the humanities and womens studies.
Opposing Viewpoints in Context This link opens in a new window
The premier online resource covering todays hottest social issues, from capital punishment to immigration, to marijuana. This cross-curricular research tool supports science, social studies, current events, and language arts classes. Its informed differing views present each side of an issue, allowing you to draw your own valid conclusions.
You must log in to use library databases and eBooks. When prompted to log in, enter your Passport credentials. If you have trouble, try resetting your Passport pin, sending an email to HelpDeskRequests@polk.edu, or calling the Help Desk at 863.292.3652. You can also get help from Ask a Librarian.