Heilig, J. V., Reddick, R. J., Hamilton, C., & Dietz, L. (2010). Actuating equity: Historical and contemporary analyses of african american access to selective higher education from sweatt to the top 10 percent law. Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy, 17, 11-27.
This article studies the history of enrollment of black students in Texas Universities, focusing on enrollment at the University of Texas-Austen. The authors begin with a literature review that examines the evolution of selective admissions, legislative enactments, and judicial decisions from Jim Crow to the TTPP. They follow this with the first estimate of historical Black enrollment at UT-Austin. Using this unique data, the researchers conduct a representation analysis of the proportion of Blacks enrolled at UT-Austin relative to statewide population estimates at seven points in time over the past seventy years. The second part of their analysis examines whether the TTPP has increased Black enrollment at UT-Austin. We then analyze cross-sectional data to understand Black TTPP students’ college choice, persistence, and graduation rates. We conclude with a discussion factoring in contextual and historical events that have thwarted efforts to increase Black participation at UT-Austin. Considering the continuing challenge of the underrepresentation of Blacks at selective postsecondary institutions in the United States and a shift away from thinking of racial grouping for pursuing claims against the state, a historical analysis aligned with contemporary data to contextualize key events and policies is important to illuminate the continuing struggle for equity in admissions for Blacks.
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