David C. Baum Memorial Lecture: Who's afraid of Critical Race Theory?
Derrick A. Bell   |   1995 U. Ill. L. Rev.

In this essay, originally delivered as a David C. Baum Memorial Lecture on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights at the University of Illinois College of Law, Professor Bell begins by discussing the recent debate surrounding The Bell Curve, and utilizing the tools of critical race theory, he offers an alternative explanation as to why the book's authors decided to publish rejected theories of black inferiority. Professor Bell then discusses the origins of critical race theory, what the theory is, what the theory ought to be, and the critics' attack of the theory. He concludes with stories about black struggle in America, stories which Professor Bell believes accurately depict the ongoing racist efforts to prevent black success.

* Visiting Professor of Law, New York University. A.B. 1952, Duquesne; L.L.B. 1957, University of Pittsburgh. Erin Edmonds, J.D. 1991, Harvard, provided the research for this essay.

This essay was originally presented on February 23, 1995, as the second lecture of the David C. Baum Memorial Lectures on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights at the University of Illinois College of Law.