Recent Publication on Affirmative Action
In this historical analysis Graves examines parallel arguments regarding affirmative action policy put forward by Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell and civil rights leader Bayard Rustin. Justice Powell is recognized as the chief architect of affirmative action as it has been applied in the United States since 1978. Interestingly, the pragmatic course that Justice Powell took in charting affirmative action policy bears a resemblance to the argument that Rustin, the visionary force behind the 1963 March on Washington, put forward in his essay, “From Protest to Politics.” Given the disparate backgrounds of these two men, it is surprising that the conservative Justice from the South and the internationally regarded gay civil rights leader shared a point of convergence regarding their thinking on affirmative action. Revisiting this common ground lends new insight regarding its educational necessity.