African Americans in Economics At the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Since the Kerner Commission Report of 1968 – The Review of Black Political Economy – article

African Americans in Economics At the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Since the Kerner Commission Report of 1968

Charles L. Betsey | The Review of Black Political Economy

2019-10-22

The campus of the University of Michigan experienced student unrest of the 1960s surrounding the Vietnam war and demands for racial inclusion. How the university, particularly the Department of Economics, responded in the aftermath of the Kerner Commission Report is the focus of this article. Michigan is not unique in producing few Black PhD economists over its history, having graduated 15 Black PhD economists of the more than 1,100 who have graduated from the department to date. Supreme Court decisions and a state ballot initiative halted the progress that was being made by the University to improve student and faculty diversity. Despite this, Michigan is one of only a few economics departments at majority institutions to have been home to several Black economists simultaneously. The fact that this is a notable statistic speaks to the lack of diversity of economics faculties nationwide.

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