White America Should Not Be Afraid of Critical Race Theory

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
Speech delivered on October 19, 2021
Posted: January 12, 2022

“Critical race theorists are committed to a program of scholarly resistance, and most hope scholarly resistance will lay the groundwork for wide-scale resistance.”

—Derrick Bell, “Who’s Afraid of Critical Race Theory?”


Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI am pleased that Ines Maturana Sendoya, Associate Dean of Students and Engagement, has asked me to be the keynote speaker in her series, “21 Days Against the Racism Challenge.” I am also pleased that she has asked me to address you on the subject of Critical Race Theory. At least, my take on the subject. For over fifty years, as a professor of Africana Studies (we used to call it “Black Studies”) and a columnist for many newspapers, I have been writing or teaching about how race and racism have functioned within America’s theoretical discourses and historical practices.


I cite my teaching and writing record to argue that we should not see critical race theory as a recent or a foreign entity against which so many misguided state governors and boards of education have raised their voices but as a an mode of inquiry and practice that was started by our academic forefathers and foremothers such as W. E. B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Anna Julia Cooper, and Carter G. Woodson, all of whom placed the notion of race-consciousness at the heart of their pedagogical and ideological projects. As far as I am concerned this an old project that is dressed up in new garments.

In offering my analysis on this subject, I follow the advice of Derrick Bell, “The Man Behind Critical Race Theory,” as The New Yorker described him last month, and someone who I knew at Harvard when I taught there. Bell reminded us that critical race theory “writing and lecturing is characterized by frequent use of the first person, storytelling, narrative, allegory, interdisciplinary treatment of law, and the unapologetic use of creativity.” 1
Full Article : trinicenter.com

7 thoughts on “White America Should Not Be Afraid of Critical Race Theory”

  1. Please, Professor… Not so fast… Yuh not going to play we like dat…

    DECEMBER 6, 2021
    By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
    December 06, 2021

    Each Trinbagonian should be mandated to take the vaccine. For public safety, restrictions should be placed on those who don’t. Like Germany and Austria, we should prevent unvaccinated people from participating in many aspects of public life.Reluctant public sector workers trickle in for vaccines


    >Group walks to San Fernando against mandatory vaccination


    Professor, Please… Give us a break…

  2. Mr. Selwyn Cudjoe !
    You are exellent ! ! .. talking about anything without Offending anybody .

    Racismen is a Top down Event .

    —Papal Bull 1095 Terra Nullius – Goodwin, Ralph Charles …
    https://goodwin-ralphcharles-formations.blogspot.com › p › papal-bull1095-terra-nullius.html
    In 1095, at the beginning of the Crusades, Pope Urban II issued an edict-the Papal Bull TerraNullius(meaning empty land). It gave the kings and princes of Europe the right to “discover” or claim land in non-Christian areas.

    Somebody want brother to fight brother .

    —Tablo | Read ‘Terra Nullius’ by Claire G. Coleman
    https://tablo.com › tablo-chapters › terra-nullius
    Claire grew up in a Forestry’s settlement in the middle of a tree plantation, where her dad worked, not far out of Perth. She wrote her black&write! fellowship-winning manuscript ‘Terra Nullius’ while travelling around Australia in a caravan.

    British Columbia Wetsuweten a indian people fighting for their territory . Used 2 years to get to talk with the Pope about Terra Nullius . Pope : I will pray . The Papa bull is still valid , inspite of indigenius peoples rights . Animals had rights to their habitats before humans .

    The children in school ( parents ) must find the Spirit within .

    I know only ” ONE ” GOD and that is ME !!

    Why on earth have ” They ” waited to impliment CRT now ?
    BLM ( who has taken over the group ) ?
    According to doctors all lives matters . No …..

    Dear mr Selwyn , Good Day .


  3. I am going to go out on a limb and say that any Race Theory is dangerous since it reduces the average person from being a part of the Human Race to a being a privileged member of a elite group, White, African, Latino, Coolie etc.
    Another point I would like to make is that who gives a care about what is being taught in schools in the USA. We need to focus on our own education curricula instead of mimicing some foreign system. T&T is a relatively young nation full of potential with a diverse population and blessed with favorable geography and natural resources. If only we could cooperate and work together for our collective interests.

    Instead we are constantly bombarded by a continuous lament from psuedo-intellectuals on a litany of past and present oppression of our Black/Africana citizens. The end result is that some segments of this community feel justified in operating outside the norms of society and creating their own realities aka high crime areas.
    In the meantime, the House Negroes in the PNM party continue living high on the hog drinking whiskey and wine and indulging in pool and boat parties while the whole country goes to the dogs.

    1. Ruth (known as Madane Slicker )
      We all have family living there , in the USA .
      As a resident , 14 years in Claxton Bay , I can say : as long there are people who think and say loud: “ NOW IT IS OUR TURN “ ,
      you ALL must work with yourselves .
      Blame game is what THEY want us to do .
      For and Against . Fight . Organise . Revolution ..,.
      There three Truth’s .. There is your Truth , there is my Truth
      and there is the TRUTH .
      Who is Right or know the TRUTH ?


      1. The unvarnished truth is fully covered in the ten Commandments of the Bible. Unfortunately for us lowly humans there are some among us who are constantly grasping for more than their fair share of what the good Lord has provided.
        Do we quietly accept the lordship of our oppressors or shall we rise up and free ourselves? Next election in 2025.

  4. The idea of race and racism has always confused me. And here is why, (1) I did not choose my race, (who am I to beat up on someone looking different from me). I did not choose my nationality, (2) I did not choose my nationality. (3) I did not choose my family. (4) I did not choose my name or the date of my birth.

    Yes there is discrimination built into the psychology of education. To counter that black folks invented “ebonics” a language that is yet to receive due prominence. The justice system, the psychological system, the whole western aparatus is geered towards white success. Deconstruction or at least an awareness is necessary, but should not become a clutch for black folks. If we are able to create awareness and a better understanding all will benefit from this self interrogation.
    The same goes in Trinidad where black for 45 years out of the 57 years of independence… what are the effects of this.

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