The Closing Door by Gary Orfield
Conservative Policy and Black Opportunity

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The Closing Door is the first major critique of the effect of conservative policies on urban race and poverty in the 1980s. Atlanta, with its booming economy, strong elected black leadership, and many highly educated blacks, seemed to be the perfect site for those policies and market solutions to prove themselves. Unfortunately, not only did expected economic opportunity fail to materialize but many of the hard-won gains of the civil rights movement were lost. Orfield and Ashkinaze painstakingly analyze the evidence from Atlanta to show why black opportunity deteriorated over the 1980s and outline possible remedies for the damage inflicted by the Reagan and Bush administrations.

"The Closing Door is a crucial breath of fresh air . . . an important and timely text which will help to alter the 'underclass' debate in favor of reconsidering race-specific policies. Orfield and Ashkinaze construct a convincing argument with which those who favor 'race-neutrality' will have to contend. In readable prose they make a compelling case that economic growth is not enough."—Preston H. Smith II, Transition


About Gary Orfield

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Erica Frankenberg served as the Study Director at the Civil Rights Project and is a doctoral candidate at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Gary Orfield is Professor of Education and Social Policy at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Published May 28, 1991 by University Of Chicago Press. 274 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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The authors analyze the effect of conservative policies on urban race relations and poverty in the 1980s.

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