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Critical Race Theory

Critical race theory, commonly known as CRT, emerged from the critical legal studies movement of the 1960s. This theoretical framework is often used to illuminate the experiences of People of Color, and racism’s continued existence, in higher education and U.S. society. CRT is comprised of seven primary tenets, with each tenet essential for developing an enhanced understanding of People’s of Color experiences in the academy.

This entry discusses CRT’s emergence, its seven key tenets, critical race methodology, and three descendent theories. CRT emerged in the 1980s and 1990s, after the civil rights advancements of the 1960s stalled. While acknowledging that critical legal studies led to significant understandings of the legal process, several prominent legal scholars did not believe that the theory appropriately addressed the concerns (i.e., ...

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