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Derrick Bell

Derrick Bell

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April 18, 2015

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Preview Entry
April 18, 2015

Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed. reviews all Guest Book entries to ensure appropriate content. Our staff does not correct grammar or spelling. Privacy Policy | Terms of Use
January 09, 2015
Please accept my sincere condolences and sincere prayers that go out to the surviving family and friends. May the God of comfort continue to bless you and yours especially after such an untimely loss of a very precious life please accept my deepest sympathies. (2 Cor. 1:2, 3).
March 11, 2012
RIP Mr. Bell we appreciate the contributions that you have made in society and I hope that we may continue to learn from your legacy of wisdom.
December 09, 2011
Professor Bell was my constitutional law prof at Harvard in 1990. He was a fascinating, highly articulate, entertaining, kind, respectful, warm, patient and humble man. He is one of the few professors I remember very well.
I hope his passing was peaceful and while the world is less one great human being, heaven is weathier for it.
Jan Richmond HLS 1991
November 08, 2011
I remember sharing some special moments at one of the many social gatherings the Bells would host at their home in Cambridge. We have a lost a true humanitarian, a brilliant scholar whose depth and commitment to social justice will be missed. We ask the Ancestors to bless us with brilliants minds to fill the void.
October 18, 2011
It is with great sadness that I extend my condolences to the entire Bell family for the loss of a great father, husband, author, humanitarian, and scholar. I will never forget the kindnesses and friendship Mr. Bell and his family afforded me and will forever cherish those many memories. May God bless and keep you adorned in the light of love and peace during this time and always thereafter.
October 16, 2011
We read in the Dallas paper of Professor Bell's life and death and especially appreciate the mention of our mutual illness, Carcinoid, as it is so seldom understood or recognized, and trust his writeup will help to create awareness. Just yesterday we had a regional conference with some of our few experts presenting and fully attended. Our own support group here is growing and we hope he had the kind of "family" we have found in each other,knowing we are not (as we were told in the beginning) alone or rare.
Harriet Kelley
Carcinoid Cancer Support of Texas (CCTS)
October 15, 2011
Dear Bell Family,
I have struggled mightily over the past week to find words to express my sorrow at your loss, and ours.
I met Derrick the week he began his service as Dean at the University of Oregon School of Law. Derrick hired me as his Research Assistant--a job that mostly involved cite-checking each foot note in the Second Edition of "Race, Racism, and American Law." He funded my continued employment, at least in part, with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and for several weeks one summer in Eugene,OR, I served as a coordinator for a seminar Derrick organized for a group of about 14 lawyers and judges from around the State of Oregon who came together to study racism in their everyday experiences with the law. Derrick challenged those lawyers, judges, and me--then a second year law student--to view our lives through a kaleidoscope of the history of Black America and the people who inhabited it.
We were, in many respects, an odd coupling; I was a newly married, 24 year old, Jewish, white woman who had grown up first on the South Side of Chicago, and later, as white flight changed the Chicago landscape forever, in an affluent north shore suburb--yet Derrick and I found that we had more commonalities than differences.
Derrick taught me more about "chutzpah" than any of my Jewish ancestors. Two years out of law school and interviewing for jobs in Chicago, I encountered a senior partner at a Chicago firm who seemed taken aback that I had worked with Derrick. Didn't I believe, the partner asked, that the constitution was color-blind? I took the opportunity to share with this partner many of the lessons that I had learned from Derrick, arguing passionately that our constitution was not color-blind when written and that it could never be truly colorblind because we could not ignore hundreds of years of Black history. When I finished, the partner said "that tells me all I need to know about you. Is there anything you'd like to know about us?" "No," I answered, "that tells me everything I need to know about you," and I stood up and walked out.
When I left Eugene after my law school graduation in 1982, Derrick gave me a candid photograph of myself that he had taken, sitting in the Oregon countryside in denim overalls, sharing a bottle of wine with our lawyers and judges. On it, he wrote--"May your tribe increase. Love, Derrick."
I reflected on Derrick's death last night as I said Mourner's Kaddish for him at Shabbat Services--and it was in my weekly prayer book that I found the words I want to share with you:
May the One whose spirit is with us in every righteous deed, be with all who work for the good of humanity and bear the burdens of others and who give bread to the hungry, who clothe the naked, and take the friendless into their homes. May the work of their hands endure, and may the seed they sow bring abundant harvest.
I will remember Derrick always because he worked for the good of humanity and bore the burdens of others--may the work of his hands endure and may his tribe increase.
I wish you great love and peace,
October 15, 2011
Dear Bell Family,
Mr. Bell lived what he believed and accomplished so much. He will be dearly missed by family and friends. May your fond memories sustain you and may you find comfort in prayer to God. Romans 12:12

October 13, 2011
My condolences to Professor Bell's family. Although I never met him, two of his works had a profound affect upon me; "Race, Racism and American Law"; and "Faces at the Bottom of the Well". I am grateful for having the opportunity to be impacted and influenced by Professor Bell. May he rest in peace.
October 13, 2011
Thanks go out to Mr.Bells family, I'm sure the support was greatly needed for all is accomplishments, May the lord continue to bless, and keep you in his perfect well.

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