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24 Harvard Blackletter Law Journal 3 (2008)


In this Article the authors will compare the development of constitutional law and federal anti-discrimination law in the context of higher education of African-Americans in the U.S. and Dalits in India. Both groups suffer from oppression and discrimination based upon a hereditary trait and related to their integration into mainstream society; neither group is completely isolated from the majority population responsible for the discrimination; and African-Americans and Dalits approximate similar percentages of their country's population. Based upon the 2000 census, African-Americans constitute 12.7% of the American populations, and, according to the 1991 Census Report of India, Dalits make up 16.5% of the Indian population. Yet, although African-Americans have been victims of hereditary racial oppression in the U.S. for almost 400 years, Dalits have suffered oppression for 3,500 years and counting.