The subtitle of this introduction is taken from a translation of the title of
Jacques Derrida’s essay ‘‘Racism’s Last Word.’’ Parts of this chapter and the
conclusion were published as ‘‘The Last Word on Racism: New Directions in
Critical Race Theory,’’ South Atlantic Quarterly 104, no. 3 (2005): 403–23.
1. The term ‘‘critical race theory’’ reflects its indebtedness to and significant
departure from the Frankfurt school’s Marxist cohort. For an analysis of the impor-
tant legal theory behind the critical race theory movement, see Crenshaw et al., eds.,
Critical Race Theory. In the introduction to the volume, the editors write that
‘‘although Critical Race scholarship di√ers in object, argument, accent, and em-
phasis, it is nevertheless unified by two common interests. The first is to understand
how a regime of white supremacy and its subordination of people of color have been
created and maintained in America, and, in particular, to examine the relationship
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