Examines how student protest against structural inequalities on campus pushes academic institutions to reckon with their legacy built on slavery and stolen Indigenous lands
Using campus social justice movements as an entry point, Leigh Patel shows how the struggles in higher education often directly challenged the tension between narratives of education as a pathway to improvement and the structural reality of settler colonialism that creates and protects wealth for a select few. Through original research and interviews with activists and organizers from Black Lives Matter, The Black Panther party, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Combahee River Collective, and the Young Lords, Patel argues that the struggle on campuses reflect a starting point for higher education to confront settler strategies. She reveals how blurring the histories of slavery and Indigenous removal only traps us in history and perpetuates race, class, and gender inequalities. By acknowledging and challenging settler colonialism, Patel outlines the importance of understanding the relationship between the struggle and study and how this understanding is vital for societal improvement.