By Derek Bell
A extraordinary criminal student and civil rights activist employs a sequence of dramatic fables and dialogues to probe the rules of America’s racial attitudes and lift irritating questions on the character of our society.
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Additional resources for And We Are Not Saved: The Elusive Quest For Racial Justice
In chapter 6, affirmative action, a contemporary policy intended to compensate for the damaging effects of past racial discrimination, is examined in the Chronicle of the DeVine Gift. The frequent complaint that "we can't find qualified blacks" may be proof that the affirmative-action policy is serving its real, though unacknowledged, goal: excluding all but a token number of minorities from opportunities that previously were available only to whites. Exploring this notion in the context of whites' desire to maintain what Professor Manning Marable calls "cultural hege- mony,"10 Geneva and the narrator discuss the relative ineffec tiveness of employment-discrimination law, and consider as well the civil rights community's acceptance of benign housing quotas.
DuBois's expectations for those blacks he designated the "Talented Tenth," the exceptional individuals who would save the race. It was the great black thinker's hope in 1903 that, by "developing the Best of this race ... "' Her concern about the common folks motivated that last trip to the South. 10 Geneva was concerned that both the volunteers and those they hoped to help would face harassment by state officials and private vigilantes. She was right. Neither her legal talents nor her promise as a black leader and legal scholar saved Geneva the evening she was driving to a voterregistration meeting in the Delta during what came to be known as the violent summer of 1964.
I longed for the conciliating presence of Geneva Crenshaw, the civil rights attorney who-except for a mysterious encounter some weeks before-I had not heard from for twenty years. My quick decision to rearrange my schedule so that I could accept the Convention's invitation was prompted by the likelihood of her presence; but now I was beginning to fear that the proceedings had degenerated beyond the point of saving by even her persuasive advocacy. It did not help that I understood our basic problem all too well.
And We Are Not Saved: The Elusive Quest For Racial Justice by Derek Bell