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The Privileged Poor by
Publication Date: 2019-03-01
Getting in is only half the battle. The Privileged Poor reveals how--and why--disadvantaged students struggle at elite colleges, and explains what schools can do differently if these students are to thrive. The Ivy League looks different than it used to. College presidents and deans of admission have opened their doors--and their coffers--to support a more diverse student body. But is it enough just to admit these students? In The Privileged Poor, Anthony Jack reveals that the struggles of less privileged students continue long after they've arrived on campus. Admission, they quickly learn, is not the same as acceptance. This bracing and necessary book documents how university policies and cultures can exacerbate preexisting inequalities and reveals why these policies hit some students harder than others. Despite their lofty aspirations, top colleges hedge their bets by recruiting their new diversity largely from the same old sources, admitting scores of lower-income black, Latino, and white undergraduates from elite private high schools like Exeter and Andover. These students approach campus life very differently from students who attended local, and typically troubled, public high schools and are often left to flounder on their own. Drawing on interviews with dozens of undergraduates at one of America's most famous colleges and on his own experiences as one of the privileged poor, Jack describes the lives poor students bring with them and shows how powerfully background affects their chances of success. If we truly want our top colleges to be engines of opportunity, university policies and campus cultures will have to change. Jack provides concrete advice to help schools reduce these hidden disadvantages--advice we cannot afford to ignore.
The Message by
Publication Date: 2019-04-23
From the row houses of Baltimore to the stoops of Brooklyn, with searing conviction and full compassion, D. Watkins, New York Times bestselling author of The Cook Up and The Beast Side lays bare the voices of the most vulnerable and allows their raw, intimate stories to uncover the systematic injustice threaded within our society. Honest and eye-opening, We Speak for Ourselves makes us listen, feel, and create a course toward change that starts right where we are. Watkins introduces you to Down Bottom, the storied community of East Baltimore that holds a mirror to America's poor black neighborhoods--"hoods" that could just as easily be in Chicago, Detroit, Oakland, or Atlanta. As Watkins sees it, the perspective of people who live in economically disadvantaged black communities is largely absent from the commentary of many top intellectuals who speak and write about race. Unapologetic and sharp-witted, D. Watkins is here to tell the truth as he has seen it. We Speak for Ourselves offers an in-depth analysis of inner-city hurdles and honors the stories therein. We sit in underfunded schools, walk the blocks burdened with police corruption, stand within an audience of Make America Great Again hats, journey from trap house to university lecture, and rally in neglected streets. And we listen. Watkins shares the lessons he has learned while navigating through two very distinct worlds--the hood and the elite sanctums of prominent black thinkers and public figures--serving hope to fellow Americans who are too often ignored and calling on others to examine what it means to be a model activist in today's world. We Speak for Ourselves is a must-read for all who are committed to social change.
Appalachian Reckoning by
Publication Date: 2019-03-01
With hundreds of thousands of copies sold, a Ron Howard movie in the works, and the rise of its author as a media personality, J. D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis has defined Appalachia for much of the nation. What about Hillbilly Elegy accounts for this explosion of interest during this period of political turmoil? Why have its ideas raised so much controversy? And how can debates about the book catalyze new, more inclusive political agendas for the region's future? Appalachian Reckoning is a retort, at turns rigorous, critical, angry, and hopeful, to the long shadow Hillbilly Elegy has cast over the region and its imagining. But it also moves beyond Hillbilly Elegy to allow Appalachians from varied backgrounds to tell their own diverse and complex stories through an imaginative blend of scholarship, prose, poetry, and photography. The essays and creative work collected in Appalachian Reckoning provide a deeply personal portrait of a place that is at once culturally rich and economically distressed, unique and typically American. Complicating simplistic visions that associate the region almost exclusively with death and decay, Appalachian Reckoning makes clear Appalachia's intellectual vitality, spiritual richness, and progressive possibilities.