November 5, 1992 |
For all his public anger, Derrick Bell is surprisingly genial and soft-spoken in private. On a rainy Sunday, he welcomes a visitor to his Greenwich Village home, pours two cups of coffee and seems miles away from the wars of Harvard. Yet to spend even a few hours with Bell is to encounter a man deeply troubled--not only by his own story, but by the barriers facing his people.
September 13, 1987 |
Do we need yet another book on Civil Rights in the United States? But this is not just another civil rights book. Consider "Divining a Nation's Salvation," the third of its three parts. In this part, in the midst of a hypothetical convention of concerned black people from all over the country, a cure for the rampaging crime wave in their midst is suddenly discovered: "And then the Black Crime Cure was discovered.
March 2, 2003 |
Intended as a work of edification, Derrick Bell's "Ethical Ambition: Living a Life of Meaning and Worth" led this reader into temptation -- the temptation to be harshly judgmental. Though an evangelical proponent of the gospel of self-fulfillment, Bell is a moralist just the same. As moralists go, however, I will take mine with a larger measure of self-examination.
May 16, 2004 |
America changed on May 17, 1954. On that day, 50 years ago, Chief Justice Earl Warren announced the Supreme Court's unanimous decision in Brown vs. Board of Education. As a legal matter, the decision declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional and disavowed the doctrine permitting "separate but equal" treatment of blacks and whites.
October 4, 1992
We are writing to express our dismay at the treatment accorded "Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism" by Derrick Bell (Aug. 23). It is not that Alex Raksin's comments in his "In Brief" review were unjust or uninformed. Rather, we could not help but be disturbed by the fact that you obviously felt that Bell's book did not merit a full-scale review, while Shelby Steele's "The Content of Our Character" did--on Page 1, no less (Sept. 30, 1990). The difference in your treatment of these two books is all the more striking given that both books focus on the complex nature of race relations in the U.S. and that you found both important enough to excerpt in your Opinion section.