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The Ethnic Conflict Research Digest

1998, Vol. 1 No. 1 .

Sailing Against the Wind: African-Americans and Women in US Education
Kofi Lomotey ed.

(New York: State University of New York Press, 1997).
183pp. Index. Pb.: $16.95; ISBN 0-7914-3192-4

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s minorities in the United States fought for equality and an end to discrimination. In education this led to the end of legalised segregation and special measures to promote access to higher education. The Nixon/Reagan/Bush years witnessed a conservative backlash against all these measures. Equality, it was said, had gone too far. Lomotey's collection of articles offers a timely corrective. Three of the chapters examine the context of multiculturalism in the United States while five chapters focus on African-Americans in schools. The remaining seven chapters focus on higher education, with three on women and four on African- Americans. Through case studies of schools individuals, and the analysis of curriculum materials the contributors highlight the continuing inequalities faced by minority pupils. Similarly, entry to the academy for a few has not guaranteed minorities full and equal participation in all the advantages of the academy. Some may be dismayed by the political correctness of some of the language, but in truth, only one chapter is wearyingly 'correct'. Rather the chapters challenge us to question the extent to which legal gains at a system level have yet to be fully translated, and experienced, by actual individuals in real-life situations.

Tony Gallagher, Queens University of Belfast

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