Space Traders for the Twenty-First Century
Adrien K. Wing
University of Iowa - College of Law
Berkeley J. African-American Law & Policy, Vol. 11, p. 49, 2009
U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-11
In this year celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Critical Race Theory (CRT) workshop, it is imperative to revisit CRT founder and New York University Law Professor Derrick Bell's Space Traders, one of the major pieces in the CRT corpus.
The Space Traders story is an allegory; the characters personify the racial politics of late twentieth-century. The Space Traders depicts a world where aliens from outer space arrive on the shores of the United States in the midst of a hopeless economic depression. The aliens offer the promise of enough gold to stay economic cataclysm. All the aliens require in return is every last black person in the country. Most sadly, the conditions the Space Traders story foresaw in America have come to pass and worsened.
Part I of the essay provides historical background about Critical Race Theory and Professor Bell. Part II discusses the story of The Space Traders itself and the various reactions to it. Lastly, Part III projects the story onto the current political environment in light of the 2008 election of Barack Obama and other developments in CRT. In order to accomplish this, Adrien Wing developed the parable similar to Bell's The Space Traders, The Black President.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 23
Keywords: Space Trader, Women's Rights, Critical Race Theory, CRT, Human Rights, Obama Administration, Racial Equality, Racial Inequality, Discrimination, Derrick Bell, Black
JEL Classification: K10, K49, K30, K39Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 2, 2011
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