Affirmative Action and the Stalled Quest for Black Progress

Author: W. Avon Drake and Robert D. Holsworth
A window into debates over affirmative action and set-asides in the 1990s
Paper – $23
Publication Date
Paperback: 01/01/1996
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About the Book

W. Avon Drake and Robert D. Holsworth focus on the landmark case of Richmond v. Croson. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled against the city of Richmond's set-aside program requiring that thirty percent of the money in municipal construction contracts go to minority-owned firms. The authors describe the politics that gave rise to the set-aside program, investigate its actual operation, explore its effects, and detail responses to it in both black and white communities. As they show, the program served important political purposes but produced limited economic benefits for the Black community. Drake and Holsworth conclude by examining the politics of development as an alternative to the set-aside framework.

Insightful and path-breaking, Affirmative Action and the Stalled Quest for Black Progress examines the accomplishments and limitations of the set-aside programs once at the center of political debates about affirmative action in the United States.

About the Author

W. Avon Drake (d. 2008) was an associate professor of political science in Virginia Commonwealth University's School L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. Robert D. Holsworth is a founding director for the Center for Public Policy at Virginia Commonwealth University and serves on the Board of Visitors of Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the coauthor of The Indispensable University.



"I strongly recommend this book to sociologists, political scientists, politicians, and business leaders as an analysis of race relations and economic development."--Lewis M. Killian, author of Black and White: Reflections of a White Southern Sociologist


Winner of the Outstanding Book Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists, 1997.