|Martin Luther King's Study (Carol M. Highsmith/LC)|
This Article offers the first comprehensive account of the marginalization of the African American Christian tradition in the movement of race and law scholarship known as critical race theory. While committed to grounding itself in the perspectives of communities of color, critical race theory has virtually ignored the significance of the fact that the civil rights movement came out of the Black church and that today more than eighty percent of African Americans self-identify as Christian. In practical terms, critical race theory’s neglect of the Christian tradition has meant that arguments developed in race and law scholarship are sometimes incompatible with the deeply religious normative frameworks that many Black Americans bring to bear on issues of law and justice. As a result, there is a significant disconnect between race and law scholarship and the comprehensive normative commitments of the community whose concerns that scholarship seeks to address. By offering the first comprehensive account of this disconnect, this Article supplies an important foundation for scholars who wish to close the gap between race and law scholarship and the larger African American community.