Document Type



This chapter explores the intellectual origins and historical precursors of Critical Race Theory (CRT), a lively branch of critical social theory. One of the goals of this work is to help novice educational scholars learn more about the history of CRT and to specifically see how it is used by contemporary scholars in the field of education to address a range of equity issues. The chapter begins by contextualizing contemporary discourse on race and education. It then chronicles the life work of key individuals whose antiracist, anti- colonial ideas and actions helped lay the foundation for the body of legal thought that was eventually coined “CRT” during the Civil Rights Era. The legal origins of CRT are discussed and definitions of key CRT constructs are outlined. The chapter concludes with a close examination of two articles that exemplify how educational scholars are using CRT to address equity issues around research and teaching.


Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Library and Information Science | Race and Ethnicity | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education | Theory, Knowledge and Science


This book chapter is the publisher's version, previously appearing as: Kumasi, K. (2011). Critical Race Theory and Education: Mapping a Legacy of Scholarship and Activism. In Levinson, B. A.U. (Ed) Beyond Critique: Critical Social Theories and Education (pp 196-219). Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers.

Copyright 2011 Paradigm Publishers.

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