Hard Knock Radio

In Conversation with Lawrence Ross

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On today’s show we feature scholar Lawrence C. Ross, the author of Blackballed. Blackballed is an explosive, controversial, timely book that exposes one of America’s hidden secrets: our colleges have become hostile to African American students. The white fraternity and sorority system is described, with its deep traditions of racist parties, songs, and assaults on black students. The universities themselves are exposed for naming campus buildings after racists. Blackballed takes a deep dive into anti-affirmative action policies and how they effectively segregate predominately white universities, providing ample room for white privilege. A bold mix of history and the current climate, Blackballed is a call to action for universities to make radical changes in their policies to foster equality for all students.

Lawrence Ross discusses one of the very few areas of the Civil Rights movement that has never been covered. Currently there are more than three million active fraternity and sorority members on our campuses, not including the millions who are alumni. These organizations annually spend millions on conventions, houses, and social engagements. “College” is a word that means many things to many people: a space for knowledge, a place to gain lifelong friends, one offering opportunity to transcend one’s socioeconomic station. Today, though, this word is recalling too many headlines regarding racial politics, disturbing to our idealized notions of what happens behind the ivied walls of higher learning.

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