Adam Harris and Erica L. Green for THE STATE MUST PROVIDE

Loyalty is thrilled to welcome Adam Harris and Erica L. Green for The State Must Provide! This event will be held digitally via Crowdcast. Click here to register for the event with a donation of any amount of your choice or you can order the book below to be added to the event's registration list. Donations will go to PanCan, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. There will also be an option to snag the book during the event.


“A book that both taught me so much and also kept me on the edge of my seat. It is an invaluable text from a supremely talented writer.” —Clint Smith, author of How the Word is Passed

The definitive history of the pervasiveness of racial inequality in American higher education

America’s colleges and universities have a shameful secret: they have never given Black people a fair chance to succeed. From its inception, our higher education system was not built on equality or accessibility, but on educating—and prioritizing—white students. Black students have always been an afterthought. While governments and private donors funnel money into majority white schools, historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and other institutions that have high enrollments of Black students, are struggling to survive, with state legislatures siphoning away federal funds that are legally owed to these schools. In The State Must Provide, Adam Harris reckons with the history of a higher education system that has systematically excluded Black people from its benefits.

Harris weaves through the legal, social, and political obstacles erected to block equitable education in the United States, studying the Black Americans who fought their way to an education, pivotal Supreme Court cases like Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education, and the government’s role in creating and upholding a segregated education system. He explores the role that Civil War–era legislation intended to bring agricultural education to the masses had in creating the HBCUs that have played such a major part in educating Black students when other state and private institutions refused to accept them.

The State Must Provide is the definitive chronicle of higher education’s failed attempts at equality and the long road still in front of us to remedy centuries of racial discrimination—and poses a daring solution to help solve the underfunding of HBCUs. Told through a vivid cast of characters, The State Must Provide examines what happened before and after schools were supposedly integrated in the twentieth century, and why higher education remains broken to this day. 


Adam Harris is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he has covered education and national politics since 2018. He was previously a reporter at the Chronicle of Higher Education, where he covered federal education policy and historically Black colleges and universities. He is a 2021 New America Fellow and the recipient of the Rising Star Award by the News Media Alliance.


Erica L. Green is a correspondent in the Washington Bureau of The New York Times covering federal education policy, with a focus on the Education Department and civil rights enforcement in the nation’s schools. Erica joined The Times in March 2017 from The Baltimore Sun, where she covered the Baltimore City Public School System for seven years. In that role, she covered the district's day-to-day news, and produced award-winning investigations on topics such as school funding, special education, school discipline, the juvenile justice system, and school segregation. At The Sun, Erica was named a finalist for the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists, first place in the investigative reporting category from the Education Writer’s Association and was part of the Sun team named a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist for breaking news coverage of the death of Freddie Gray and the unrest that followed. At The Times, Erica has covered the tenure of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and the impact that the Trump administration’s policies have had on both K-12 schools and institutions of higher education. Her coverage earned her a 2018 beat reporting prize from the Education Writers Association.

Please note Loyalty has a zero tolerance policy for harassment or intimidation of any kind during this virtual event. 

Event date: 
Tuesday, August 24, 2021 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
The State Must Provide: Why America's Colleges Have Always Been Unequal--and How to Set Them Right Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062976482
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - August 10th, 2021