This Article introduces a novel concept, higher education redress statutes (“HERS”), to illustrate efforts that acknowledge and amend past wrongs towards African Americans. More proximally, the Article shines a probing light on the escalation of HERS in southeastern states that serve as a site for state regulation and monitoring. The Author exposes how higher education redress statutes, designed to provide relief or remedy to Black people for states’ higher education’s harm, categorically ignore groups of Black people who rightfully should also be members of the statutorily protected class. This Article queries whether legislators can expand the scope of such statutes and reveals the myriad ways in which higher education redress statutes now serve as tools for aiding in the erasure of the higher education industry’s culpability and complicity in slavery, degradation, and discrimination toward Black people. As such, this Article shows the growing hostility toward Black people’s contribution to the higher education industry and states’ unwillingness to offer redress efforts inclusively, broadly, and robustly. This Article serves as a platform for recognizing Black people’s harm and hurt and the degree to which that recognition has been undermined by the states’ disparate treatment of their humanity. Lastly, this Article proffers recommendations to activists, legislators, and other relevant stakeholders regarding the enforcement and promulgation of more comprehensive and inclusive higher education redress statutes.
Recommended CitationChristopher L. Mathis, Higher Education Redress Statutes: A Critical Analysis of States’ Reparations in Higher Education, 79 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1829 (2023).
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.law.wlu.edu/wlulr/vol79/iss5/6