Silent Covenants

Derrick Bell

Law professor Derrick Bell isn’t joining in the celebrations of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that most Americans credit with striking a fatal blow to segregation. One of the founding scholars in the study of critical race theory, Bell sees the famous decision in Brown v. Board of Education as window dressing, an abysmal failure if its goal was the end of American racism. In this book, he shows how little effect Brown had on the quality of education that African-American children received and how, once segregation no longer was the law of the land, the entrenchment of racism actually made conditions worse for a large number of black Americans. His suggestion that a better decision would have allowed segregation, provided that separate truly was equal, is an intriguing if counterintuitive one.