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«Covenant Keeper»

Derrick Bell’s Enduring Education Legacy


Edited By Gloria Ladson-Billings and William Tate

Although he spent his career as a lawyer and law school professor, Derrick Bell had a profound impact on the field of education in the area of educational equity. Among many accomplishments, Bell was the first African American to earn tenure at the Harvard Law School; he also established a new course in civil rights law and produced what has become a famous casebook: Race, Racism, and American Law. The man who could rightly be called, «The Father of Critical Race Theory,» Bell was an innovator who did things with the law that others had not thought possible. This volume highlights Bell’s influence on a number of prominent education and legal scholars by identifying some of his specific work and how they have used it to inform their own thinking and practice. What is contained here is an assemblage of contributors with deep commitments to the path-breaking work of Derrick Bell – a scholar, a teacher, an activist, a mentor, and a covenant keeper.


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Foreword: Critical What What? vii Devon W. Carbado Introduction xxiii Gloria Ladson-Billings Section One: Derrick Bell Teaching and Schooling Chapter One: Continuing to Sacrifice Black Children 3 Gloria Ladson-Billings Chapter Two: “Gifted With a Second-Sight”: Professor Derrick Bell the Teacher Vinay Harpalani 17 Chapter Three: A Critical Race Examination of McLaurin v. Oklahoma: How Derrick Bell Helped Me Understand George McLaurin’s Seat 39 Daniel G. Solórzano Chapter Four: The Utility of “The Space Traders” and Its Variations as CRT Teachable Moments 57 Ana Carolina Antunes, Rosie Connor, Kathryn K. Coquemont, Kehaulani Folau, Allison Martin, Laura Todd, and Laurence Parker vi | contents Section Two: Derrick Bell and Principles of Critical Race Theory Chapter Five: Derrick Bell, Brown, and the Continuing Significance of the Interest-Convergence Principle 81 Jamel K. Donnor Chapter Six: The Rules of Racial Standing: Critical Race Theory for Analysis, Activism, and Pedagogy 91 David Gillborn Chapter Seven: Letter to My Unborn Daughter: My Career in the Academy—Reasons for My Mental Breakdown 111 Nicola Rollock Section Three: Derrick Bell on Theory Chapter Eight: Derrick Bell’s Feminism: Profeminism, Intersection, and the Multiple Jeopardy of Race and Gender 131 Adrienne D. Dixson Chapter Nine: In Pursuit of Critical Racial Literacy: An (Auto)ethnographic Exploration of Derrick Bell’s Three Is 141 Keffrelyn Brown Chapter Ten: Derrick Bell on Race and Memory: From Abolition to Obama 163 Anthony L. Brown Afterword: The Ethics of Derrick Bell: Oh How He Loved 181 William F. Tate Contributors 191 Index 197

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