Confronting Authority: Reflections of an Ardent Protester

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Beacon Press, 1994 - Law - 195 pages
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Derrick Bell reflects on his protest and dismissal from his tenured posiion at Harvard rather than end his protest over the law school's continuing failure to grant tenture to any women of color. He offers an explanation of why people challenge authority when there is little hope of gain and after considerable risk. He argues that those who speak out are moved less by anger than by a deep sense of the fragility of self-worth.

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Confronting authority: reflections of an ardent protester

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Bell provides a detailed account of the events that led him to give up his position as a Harvard Law School professor to protest the school's never having granted tenure to a minority woman. (LJ 9/15/94) Read full review


The Fame for Failure Paradox
Models for Confrontation
A Reason for Protest

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About the author (1994)

A lawyer, educator, and writer, Derrick Bell was educated at both Duquesne University and Pittsburgh University. He was the first African American professor to be tenured at Harvard Law School. He was the dean of the University of Oregon Law School and a professor at the New York University Law School. Bell has held such positions as executive director of the Western Center on Law and Poverty at the University of California, counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and deputy director of the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Bell has contributed writing to the following publications: Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and UCLA legal journals, Essence, Mother Jones, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, and The Christian Science Monitor. He has written Race, Racism and American Law and the story, Space Traders, which was adapted as a movie for HBO.

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