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Faces at the Bottom of the Wellby Derrick A. Bell
Synopses & Reviews
Imagine America on the first day of the 21st century. At the break of dawn, a thousand space ships descend from the sky, landing on the shores of the East Coast, bearing treasures of gold, safe nuclear power and detoxifying agents that could pay all debts and save the earth's environment. In exchange for these goods, guaranteed to rescue America from the excesses of its past, the Space Traders want just one thing — to take all African Americans back to their home star.
What would our leaders do? White Americans were once capable of rationalizing Black slavery; would they be capable of justifying the trade of all African Americans to space, to improve their own lot on earth?
The situation is a chilling fantasy. But for Derrick Bell, the prominent civil rights activist and former Harvard Law School Professor, the danger is very real. In Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism, Bell uses allegory and historical example to argue that racism has always been an integral, permanent and indestructible component of American society.
This series of allegorial stories and encounters with fictional characters sheds light on some of the most perplexing and vexing issues of the day: affirmative action, disparity between civil rights law and reality, "racist outbursts" of some African American leaders, and more.
The noted civil rights activist uses allegory and historical example to present a radical vision of the persistence of racism in America. These essays shed light on some of the most perplexing and vex
The noted civil rights activist uses allegory and historical example to present a radical vision of the persistence of racism in America. These essays shed light on some of the most perplexing and vexing issues of our day: affirmative action, the disparity between civil rights law and reality, the racist outbursts” of some black leaders, the temptation toward violent retaliation, and much more.
About the Author
Derrick Bell, a visiting professor at New York University Law School, was dismissed by Harvard University from his position as Weld Professor of Law for refusing to end his two-year leave through which he protested the absence of minority women on the law faculty. He is also the author of Faces at the Bottom of the Well, Confronting Authority, and And We Are Not Saved.
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