ERIC Number: EJ1023446
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
Living with Racism in Education and Society: Derrick Bell's Ethical Idealism and Political Pragmatism
Leonardo, Zeus; Harris, Angela P.
Race, Ethnicity and Education, v16 n4 p470-488 2013
Derrick Bell's pronouncement and challenge that racism is likely permanent has captured the imagination of Critical Race Theorists in education. Equally important are his ideas about living with the concrete conditions of racism. This article focuses on a tension within Bell's work. On the one hand, his writings are characterized by a certain "racial realism." In this perspective, Bell encourages race scholars and activists to abandon notions of one day ending racism. On the other hand, Bell also retains a certain idealism, most evident in his appeal to the ethical dimensions of critical race work. He invites intellectuals to join him in fighting racism even if the prospects for change are sometimes bleak. In his life as well as his work, Bell willingly sacrificed prestige and financial security for his ideals, and seemed puzzled when his friends and colleagues were reluctant to do the same. Bell's racial realism and ethical idealism comprise two--sometimes warring--moments that permeate his work.
Descriptors: Critical Theory, Racial Bias, Social Theories, Social Bias, Social Justice, Realism, Ethics, Whites, Minority Groups, Political Issues, Court Litigation, Racial Relations
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Brown v Board of Education