Critical Race Theory in Education

Introduction to Critical Race Theory in Education

From: Critical Race Theory in Higher Education. (2015). ASHE Higher Education Report, 41(3), 1-16. doi:10.1002/aehe.20021

Critical Race Theory

IN THIS CHAPTER, WE PROVIDE a brief overview of critical legal studies (CLS), critical race theory (CRT), and key tenets that have framed critical race theory’s application. We conclude by presenting an overview of how the rest of the monograph is organized.

In November 2008, then U.S. Senator Barack H. Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States. Because he was the first Person of Color to be elected president, the national media proclaimed that the United States had entered a “postracial” era, leading many people in U.S. society to surmise that racism no longer existed at an institutional level but was enacted exclusively at the individual level. This is reminiscent of what scholars refer to as a color-blind ideology, one that rationalizes contemporary racial inequality as the result of nonracial dynamics (Bonilla-Silva, 2010). However, since President Obama’s election and subsequent reelection, there have been a number of incidents illuminating race and racism’s continued presence and role in U.S. society and education. Three notable examples sparking national debate are the deaths of two unarmed Black teenagers, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, and 43-year-old Eric Garner.2 ... read the full chapter.

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