Derrick Bell, Law Professor and Rights Advocate, Dies at 80

Derrick Bell, a legal scholar who saw persistent racism in America and sought to expose it through books, articles and provocative career moves — he gave up a Harvard Law School professorship to protest the school’s hiring practices — died on Wednesday in Manhattan. He was 80.

The cause was carcinoid cancer, his wife, Janet Dewart Bell, said. He died at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital and lived on the Upper West Side.

Mr. Bell was the first tenured black professor at Harvard Law School and later the first black dean of a law school that is not historically black. But he was perhaps better known for resigning from prestigious jobs than for accepting them.

While he was working at the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department in his 20s, his superiors told him to give up his membership in the N.A.A.C.P., believing it posed a conflict of interest. Instead he quit the department, ignoring the advice of friends to try to change it from within.

Read more at source


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...