Carving Out a Humanity: Race, Rights, and Redemption

New Pr. Nov. 2020. 368p. ed. by ed. by Janet Dewart Bell & Vincent M. Southerland. ISBN 9781620976203. $29.99. LAW
The late law professor and civil rights activist Derrick Bell, the first African American granted tenure at Harvard University, was a champion for equality who often resigned from prestigious posts in protest over non-inclusive university hiring practices. He also inspired much of the scholarship of critical race theory. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Derrick Bell Lecture Series at New York University School of Law, Bell’s wife, Janet Dewart Bell (Lighting the Fires of Freedom), who founded the series, and Southerland (executive director, Ctr. on Race, Inequality, and the Law, New York Univ. Sch. of Law) present this anthology of scholarly lectures on race theory. Here, legal scholar Patricia Williams contends that systemic ownership of people through slavery led to the development of sexual archetypes of race; The New Jim Crow author and civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander writes about justice and mass incarceration. Providing a lens on issues of race in America and how scholars have responded, this potent work draws conclusions about systemic injustice and race.
VERDICT Scholars and lay readers alike will be enlightened and spurred to thought and discussion.
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