Last November, Timothy Golden, Walla Walla University professor of philosophy, published his second book, entitled Racism and Resistance: Essays on Derrick Bell’s Racial Realism. The book brings together the research of scholars from a variety of fields and examines the idea that while racism is permanent, all people still have a moral obligation to resist it.
Golden credited a former mentor for introducing him to the work of Derrick Bell, an African American legal theorist, academic, and activist. “I immediately saw the depth and richness in Bell’s thought, and I considered it worthy of scholarly exploration,” Golden said. “I thought the biggest inspiration was his work itself, where he integrates his life in his scholarship.” After Bell’s death in 2011, Golden called his mentor and told him he wanted to write a book on Bell.
After receiving a few names from his mentor, Golden began to reach out to his colleagues and ask for contributions for the book. While the process of bringing scholars together was lengthy, Golden expressed his enthusiasm for the interest they showed in the project.
In the four parts of the book, scholars in the humanities, law, philosophy, theology, and rhetoric share points of view from their disciplines on Bell’s arguments. Golden wrote two chapters in addition to his introduction and preface. A tribute to his passion for acting, Golden titled his introduction “I Want My Ham,” referencing a character he once played who embodied the continued frustration in the African American experience.
According to Golden, his interests and research in jurisprudence, African American philosophy, and political theology all converge in the work of Bell. Golden considers Bell to be a role model, and was excited to incorporate a tradition of African American theology into his own scholarship.
To learn more about faculty publications and research in the Department of History and Philosophy, visit wallawalla.edu/history.
Posted March 17, 2022