Vampires Anonymous and critical race practice.

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Williams, Robert A., Jr. “Vampires Anonymous and critical race practice.” Michigan Law Review 95 (February 1997): 741-65.


Williams gives a personal account of the difficulties he encountered as a minority law school professor trying to obtain tenure and maintain a suitable publishing record while his preference was to write about Native American issues and critical race theory.  He discusses the strong influence of his Lumbee upbringing, which stressed storytelling as well as - more significantly - “understand(ing) that you are expected to serve others through your hard work and achievements” and that “acting for others is regarded as an individual responsibility” (p. 743). 

He finally learned to write the “right kind” of law review articles but was dissatisfied because writing them did not allow him the time to “give back” to Indian people.  His solution was to integrate critical legal theory into his courses (what he refers to as Critical Race Practice), become involved - personally and through projects he assigned his students - in the needs and issues of local Native Americans, and write materials such as Indian Country newsletters, bar journal articles, and encyclopedia articles that would reach wider audiences with the messages of Critical Race Theory.  He concludes, “...Critical Race Practice is mostly about learning to listen to other people's stories and then finding ways to make those stories matter in the legal system....  Understanding other people and their stories really does matter in our efforts to achieve justice in our postmodern multicultural world” (p. 765).

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