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49 UCLA L. Rev. 1343 (2001-2002)
The First Decade: Critical Reflections, or A Foot in the Closing Door

handle is hein.journals/uclalr49 and id is 1357 raw text is: THE FIRST DECADE: CRITICAL REFLECTIONS, OR
A FOOT IN THE CLOSING DOOR
Kimberl Williams Crenshaw*
INTRODUCTION    ...................................................      1343
I.  DERRICK BELL: FROM RACE, RACISM, AND AMERICAN LAW
TO THE ALTERNATIVE COURSE.......................... 1344
II. THE CLS CONFERENCES OF THE MID-1980S ................ 1354
III.  THE BIRTH OF THE CRITICAL RACE THEORY WORKSHOP .... 1359
IV.   CRITICAL RACE THEORY THEN AND Now: FROM BIRTH TO
BACKLASH    ................................................     1365
V.   WHERE WE'VE BEEN, WHERE WE'RE GOING ................ 1369
CONCLUSION: IN SEARCH OF A CAPTION .......................... 1371
INTRODUCTION'
In the introduction to Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That
Formed the Movement,2 Gary Peller, Neil Gotanda, Kendall Thomas, and I
framed the development of Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a dialectical en-
gagement with liberal race discourse and with Critical Legal Studies (CLS).
We described this engagement as constituting a distinctively progressive in-
tervention within liberal race theory and a race intervention within CLS.
As neat as this sounds, it took almost a decade for these interventions to be
fleshed out fully. Reflecting on the past ten years of CRT, this Article ex-
plores the course of these interventions from the personal perspective of an
organizer and early participant of CRT. Looking forward, I offer some specu-
lative and aspirational views about our future.
*   This Article was delivered as a plenary talk at the 1997 CRT conference held in New
Haven, Connecticut. I am grateful to the several colleagues who have offered helpful comments
and reactions to the various iterations of this narrative, both before and after the 1997 conference,
including Neil Gotanda, Charles Lawrence, Cecil McNab, Luke Harris, Duncan Kennedy, and
Stephanie Phillips. Thanks also to Gulgun Ulger for research assistance, Duncan Alford for refer-
ence assistance, and to the editors for their enormous patient support. As always but especially
here, all errors are my own.
1.  The original iteration of this Article is forthcoming in CRITICAL RACE THEORY:
HISTORIES, CROSSROADS, DIRECTIONS, edited by Francisco Valdes, Jerome McCristal Culp, &
Angela P. Harris eds., which Temple University Press is publishing in 2002.
2.  See Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement, at xiii-xxxii
(Kimberl6 W. Crenshaw et al. eds., 1995).

1343

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