27.2 | Aja Y. Martinez

Critical Race Theory: Its Origins, History, and Importance to the Discourses and Rhetorics of Race

Critical Race Theory (CRT) originated in US law schools, bringing together issues of power, race, and racism to address the liberal notion of color blindness, and argues that ignoring racial differences maintains and perpetuates the status quo with its deeply institutionalized injustices to racial minorities. This essay introduces CRT as a theoretical frame by which to better understand discourses of race and racism in contemporary color blind and supposed post-racial societies. This work is situated within rhetorical studies so as to trace connections between CRT scholarship and literatures in anti-racist rhetoric that seek to understand, challenge, and dismantle systems of racism.