In 1995, in a marked reversal of progress in the march toward racial equity, the Board of Regents voted to end affirmative action at the University of California. One year later the electorate voted to do the same across the state of California. Silence at Boalt Hall is the thirty-year story of students, faculty, and administrators struggling with the politics of race in higher education at U.C. Berkeley's prestigious law school—one of the first institutions to implement affirmative action policies and one of the first to be forced to remove them. Andrea Guerrero is a member of the last class of students admitted to Boalt Hall under the affirmative action policies. Her informed and passionate journalistic account provides an insider's view into one of the most pivotal and controversial issues of our time: racial diversity in higher education.
Guerrero relates the stories of those who benefited from affirmative action and those who suffered from its removal. She shows how the "race-blind" admission policies at Boalt have been far from race-neutral and how the voices of underrepresented minority students have largely disappeared. A hushed silence—the silence of students, faculty, and administrators unwilling and unable to discuss the difficult issues of race—now hangs over Boalt and many institutions like it, Guerrero claims. As the legal and sociopolitical battles over affirmative action continue on a number of consequential fronts, this book provides a rich and engrossing perspective on many facets of this crucial question.