Document Type



Twenty-five years ago, Professor Richard Delgado published The Imperial Scholar. The article asserted that a group of white scholars dominated the field of civil rights scholarship to the exclusion of minority scholars. It created a firestorm of sorts with what one critic called a "serious charge of invidious racism on the part of respected legal scholars." Professor Derrick Bell described the piece as "an intellectual hand grenade, tossed over the wall of the establishment as a form of academic protest." Whether as firestorm or grenade, this foundational piece had a tremendous impact on the legal landscape. This brief essay examines the claims made by the article and the way that it laid the groundwork for much of critical race theory.