These photographs were taken at various points throughout Professor Derrick Bell’s life and his career as a lawyer, activist, writer and professor. The depth of Professor Bell’s dedication to working for racial and social justice was surpassed only by his dedication to his family and friends and his commitment to building enduring relationships with many of his students and colleagues. Professor Bell spoke often about the importance of love and family. These photographs document only a small number of the important relationships in Professor Bell’s life and a small number of the people who touched and were touched by his spirit, intellect and heart. Professor Bell’s thought-provoking constitutional law classes at NYU School of Law were almost always followed by dinners with a small group of students and teaching assistants, characterized by intense discussion and debate of legal and social issues. Some of these photographs are from those classes and dinners. The Annual Derrick Bell Lecture on Race in American Society, represented in several of these photographs, are a time for Derrick’s students, colleagues, family members, and friends as well as the broader community to join forces, integrating the analysis of profound social issues with connection, laughter, music and food.
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