Academic journal article et Cetera

Books -- Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism by Derrick Bell

Academic journal article et Cetera

Books -- Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism by Derrick Bell

Article excerpt

Derrick Bell. Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism. New York: Basic Books, 1992.

Using the short story to discuss racism in America, Bell's major message is resistance -- that through acts of resistance and defiance, African Americans can be triumphant. Let me explain.

To begin, Bell claims that "racism is an integral, permanent, and indestructible component of this society." (ix) Although this realization may lead to despair, Bell agrees with Franz Fanon in urging resistance and courageous struggle even in the face of seemingly insurmountable barriers. For it is in the process of resisting that oppressed people become triumphant.

In his preface, Bell writes about Mrs. Biona MacDonald, an organizer in Harmony, Mississippi, in the early 1960s. Working tirelessly for civil rights, Mrs. MacDonald continually faced intimidation and hostility from local whites. When Bell talked with her about her resistance, she replied, "I can't speak for everyone, but as for me, I am an old woman. I lives to harass white folks." (xii) Bell continues,

She did not even hint that her harassment would topple those whites' well-entrenched power. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.