N.C. A&T to Host “An Audacious Call to Action” with Author, Writer-in-Residence Harris

By Markita C. Rowe / 02/27/2023 College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Feb. 27, 2023) – Award-winning journalist and author Adam Harris will headline the event, “An Audacious Call to Action: HBCU Equity in Higher Education,” at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University on Wednesday, March 15 at 6 p.m. in the Alumni-Foundation Event Center.

Harris, a staff writer for The Atlantic covering national politics, was selected as this year’s Writer-in-Residence at North Carolina A&T and will feature a series of master classes and speeches throughout the semester, engaging with students and faculty.

Harris’ book, “The State Must Provide: Why America’s Colleges Have Always Been Unequal – And How to Set Them Right” is the Text-in-Community book for the 2022-23 academic year.

The event, which is open to the public, will also feature a panel discussion with William A. Darity Jr., Ph.D., and A. Kirsten Mullen, authors of “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century. Other national figures, including Hank Tucker, staff writer and member of Forbes’ money and investing team, will serve as panelists for the forum moderated by Jelani Favors, Ph.D., A&T’s Henry E. Frye Endowed Professor. Favors authored the national award-winning and highly acclaimed book “Shelter in a Time of Storm: How Black Colleges Fostered Generations of Leadership and Activism,” and was featured in the PBS documentary series "Making Black America: Through the Grapevine" last fall.

The first 500 guests will receive a signed copy of one of the books, “The State Must Provide” or “From Here to Equality,” as a gift.

Darity and Mullen were awarded the 2021 Lillian Smith Book Prize and the 2021 Inaugural Book Prize from the Association of African American Life and History. Their book presents a well-documented case for reparations based on African Americans’ exploitation, oppression, and legal and extralegal discrimination. Darity is the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics at Duke University. Mullen is a writer, folklorist, and lecturer whose work focuses on race, art, history and politics.

A graduate of Alabama A&M University, Harris previously reported on higher education policy and historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) for The Chronicle of Higher Education. In 2021, he was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

Harris’ book explores the history of inequality that has long plagued Black students, historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and African Americans in higher education overall.

According to Harris, America’s colleges and universities have a shameful secret: they have never given Black students a fair chance to succeed. The idea that Black students have always been an afterthought when it comes to higher education is a topic that is thoroughly addressed throughout the book.

“The State Must Provide is a must-read,” said the New York Times Book Review. “It details the complex dynamics that both reflect our nation’s dark history and show us the way toward a more equitable future.”

A book signing with Harris, Darity and Mullen will follow the event, which is one of two offered in March at A&T that will discuss equity in higher education at HBCUs.

The other event will take place March 21, featuring a discussion and student debate with actress Erika Alexander and explore her documentary, “The Big Payback,” recently featured on PBS.

Tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis at the University Ticket Office (Brown Hall), beginning Wednesday, March 1.


Media Contact Information: mcrowe@ncat.edu

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