Afrolantica Legacies

Overview

Derrick Bell is perhaps best known for the principled stand he took at Harvard in 1990 when he quit his tenured position on the law-school faculty to protest the school's failure to grant tenure to a black woman. Now a visiting professor at New York Law School, Bell is still deeply interested in issues of race relations and has chosen to explore the subject fictionally in "Afrolantica Legacies." In a nutshell, the story goes like this: a mysterious land mass suddenly appears in the Atlantic Ocean, a fabulous ...

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Overview

Derrick Bell is perhaps best known for the principled stand he took at Harvard in 1990 when he quit his tenured position on the law-school faculty to protest the school's failure to grant tenure to a black woman. Now a visiting professor at New York Law School, Bell is still deeply interested in issues of race relations and has chosen to explore the subject fictionally in "Afrolantica Legacies." In a nutshell, the story goes like this: a mysterious land mass suddenly appears in the Atlantic Ocean, a fabulous island on which only black people can survive. American blacks set sail to the island to begin a new life, only to see it sink again before they can reach the shore. On the return trip to America, the passengers draw up a list of principles called the Afrolantica Legacies, defining how they want to reposition themselves in American society. The book uses a fictional setting to outline some remedies for the problem of race relations between African Americans and white people in our society.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
With shades of his previous book, Bell (Gospel Choirs, LJ 5/1/96) continues with his odd mixture of parables and political essays. In this sequel, he pairs fictional sidekick Geneva Crenshaw with President Clinton, who was influenced by her to make a speech at an event called "Racial Liberation Day," with a message to white Americans. Putting himself into the book as a character, Bell moves on to explain the legacy of "Afrolantica," a "promised land" for African Americans that sank to the bottom of the ocean. At this point, he borders on the absurd, using too much levity, as when he has contact with a supernatural being who descends to Earth in a parachute. Bell then gets serious as he debates one of his colleagues on black-Jewish relations and offers a critique on black academics. With his unconventional style, he nevertheless delivers powerful commentary on the issues of the day. Recommended for African American collections and those scholars seeking a challenge to their sensibilities.Ann Burns, "Library Journal"
Library Journal
With shades of his previous book, Bell (Gospel Choirs, LJ 5/1/96) continues with his odd mixture of parables and political essays. In this sequel, he pairs fictional sidekick Geneva Crenshaw with President Clinton, who was influenced by her to make a speech at an event called "Racial Liberation Day," with a message to white Americans. Putting himself into the book as a character, Bell moves on to explain the legacy of "Afrolantica," a "promised land" for African Americans that sank to the bottom of the ocean. At this point, he borders on the absurd, using too much levity, as when he has contact with a supernatural being who descends to Earth in a parachute. Bell then gets serious as he debates one of his colleagues on black-Jewish relations and offers a critique on black academics. With his unconventional style, he nevertheless delivers powerful commentary on the issues of the day. Recommended for African American collections and those scholars seeking a challenge to their sensibilities.

--Ann Burns, Library Journal

Booknews
Bell, a visiting professor at New York University Law School, employs contemporary fables (e.g. the President's Racial Liberation Day Address) and dialogues to counter racial barriers between ordinary US blacks and whites, "the talented tenth" (of the black community), and the white power structure. Notes, but no index. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Neil A. Lewis
Bell, a visiting professor at New York Law School, has now produced the fourth book in which he deploys storytelling to discuss race in America....It is a tenet of Bell's that blacks and whites increasingly see things from vastly different perspectives. In "Afrolantica Legacies" he succeeds in pressing that point. -- Neil A. Lewis
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780883782002
  • Publisher: Third World Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1997
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 212

Meet the Author

Derrick Bell was the first tenured Black professor at Harvard Law School in 1971. His career has been marked by a series of protests against the unfair treatment of women of color by various universities w

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Table of Contents

Prologue ix
Part I: Racial Liberation Day
The Challenge for White Americans 3
Geneva Crenshaw Responds 21
Revelations 27
Part II: The Afrolantica Legacies
Chiara's Enlightenment 39
The Citadel 61
Shadowboxing: Blacks, Jews, and Games Scapegoats Play 81
Paul Robeson: Doing the State Some Service 109
Justice Marshall and the Handmaid's Tale 123
The Black Sedition Papers 137
Bluebeard's Castle: An American Fairy Tale 155
Epilogue 169
Notes 175
Acknowledgments 185
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