Join us for a conversation with UCLA professor Eddie R. Cole as he discusses his newest book The Campus Color Line with Princeton’s Vice Provost for Institutional Equity & Diversity Michele Minter.
The Campus Color Line illuminates the important role of college presidents, including Princeton’s Robert F. Goheen, in the unfinished struggle for racial equity in education and beyond.
Focusing on the period between 1948 and 1968, Eddie Cole shows how college presidents, during a time of violence and unrest, strategically, yet often silently, initiated and shaped racial policies and practices inside and outside of the educational sphere. With courage and hope, as well as malice and cruelty, college presidents positioned themselves—sometimes precariously—amid conflicting interests and demands. Black college presidents challenged racist policies as their students demonstrated in the streets against segregation, while presidents of major universities lobbied for urban renewal programs that displaced Black communities near campus. Some presidents amended campus speech practices to accommodate white supremacist speakers, even as other academic leaders developed the nation’s first affirmative action programs in higher education.
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Professor Cole’s Bio: Eddie R. Cole, Ph.D., is associate professor of higher education and organizational change at UCLA, and the author of The Campus Color Line: College Presidents and the Struggle for Black Freedom (Princeton University Press, 2020). Twitter: @EddieRCole