Copyright (c) 1996 New York Law School Law Review
New York Law School Law Review
BOOK REVIEW: TO THE CITADEL AND BACK CONFRONTING AUTHORITY: REFLECTIONS OF AN ARDENT PROTESTER. By Derrick Bell. New York, Beacon Press, 1994. Pp. 195. $ 20.00.
40 N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev. 537
Reviewed by Helen Leskovac *
"From the glass ceilings of business to the straw floors of academia there is always a reason not to pay or promote a Black woman." 1
"There is still evidence of discrimination in our society against minorities and women." 2
"What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn." 3
In the spring of 1969, one hundred and fifty-two years since its founding in 1817, Harvard Law School hired its first African-American law professor, Derrick A. Bell, Jr. 4 He accepted the offer from then-Dean Derek Bok with the explicit understanding that he would be the first, but not the last black person to be hired. After twenty years, the law faculty included only six African-Americans, 5 all male. 6 Vowing that he would not teach at Harvard until it hired a minority woman, Bell took a one-year unpaid leave of absence in 1990, which he extended into a second year as a visiting professor at New York University School of Law. At the end of his two year protest, the situation at Harvard was unresolved. The school had invited two highly regarded and accomplished African-American women to teach in a visiting capacity, later deeming neither fit to receive an offer of a tenured position. Consequently Bell continued his solo boycott and declined to return to his home institution. Harvard then seized the opportunity to apply its two-year limitation ...
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