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Northern Illinois University
College of Law
David C. Shapiro Memorial Law Library

Racial and Social Justice: Critical Race Theory

This Guide presents resources available to NIU College of Law students, faculty, administration and staff to help foster a legal profession dedicated to upholding racial justice.

What is Critical Race Theory?

Critical race theorists observe that even if the law is couched in neutral language, it cannot be neutral because those who fashioned it had their own subjective perspectives that, once enshrined in law, have disadvantaged minorities and even perpetuated racism.

Important Works

Further Reading

Derrick A. Bell

Photo taken at Stanford University by L.A. Cicero

Professor Derrick Bell developed critical race theory, a body of legal scholarship that explores how racism is embedded in laws and legal institutions. And more broadly, over the course of his five-decade career, he worked to expose the persistence of racism.

"From his work on the front lines of legal argument in the civil rights movement to his pathbreaking teaching and scholarship on civil rights and racial justice issues, Professor Derrick Bell inspired and challenged generations of colleagues and students with imagination, passion and courage." - Harvard Dean Emerita Martha Minow  “

Works by Professor Bell (at the Law Library)

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