Demise of the Talented Tenth: Affirmative Action and the Increasing Underrepresentation of Ascendant Blacks at Selective Educational Institutions

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69 Ohio State Law Journal 1229 (2008)

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Brown, Kevin D.; Bell, Jeannine
Digital Repository @ Maurer Law
race; education; bi-racial; equality; higher education; affirmative action; African-Americans; Civil Rights and Discrimination; Education Law; Legal Education
article description
Over the past 30 years America has experienced both a substantial increase in the percentage of blacks multiracial blacks and an unprecedented influx of voluntary immigration of blacks primarily from Africa and the Caribbean. The percentage of foreign-born black immigrants reached 8% of the black population in 2005, and no doubt is higher today. There is evidence that suggests not only that multiracial blacks and foreign-born black immigrants and their sons and daughters constitute a disproportionate percentage of black students in selective higher education programs, but their percentages are larger than most people realize. This article addresses the resulting change in the racial and ethnic ancestry of blacks on U.S. college campuses, particularly those in selective higher education programs. We argue that this occurs not just because of demographic shifts but also as a result of the ways in which affirmative action programs function. Ultimately, the Article questions the admissions process that lumps all blacks into a single category, an approach that pervades admissions decisions of so many selective colleges, universities, and graduate programs.