Lawrence Ross: Blackballed The Black and White Politics of Race on America's Campuses
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.
After attending both U.C. Berkeley and U.C.L.A., Ross began his writing career in the mid 1990s as managing editor of Rap Sheet, the west coast's first hip hop magazine. His The Divine Nine, the first book about the nine African American fraternities and sororities, became a Los Angeles Times and Essence magazine bestseller. As a result, Ross lectured at over 500 colleges and universities, speaking on issues of fraternalism, student development, and fraternity and sorority hazing. He's been interviewed by The Root, The Grio, the Los Angeles Times, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as well as the BBC, MSNBC, and CNN.. In 2001, Ross published The Ways of Black Folks: A Year in the Life of a People . Selected as a "Fall Must Read" by the National Association of Black Journalists, it chronicled the author's travels to England, France, Ghana, Brazil, Jamaica, and Canada, as he searched for commonalities in the African diaspora experience. His two novels, Friends With Benefits and Skin Game, were both chosen by Doubleday's Black Expressions Book Club. His fifth book, Money Shot: The Wild Nights and Lonely Days in the Black Porn Industry was published by Running Press.
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Hosted by Davey D, the Host of Hard Knock Radio (airing on KPFA 94.1FM weekdays at 4pm).
He is also Adjunct Professor in the Afrostudies Dept. at S.F.State University
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