AS PRESIDENT of the Harvard Law Review in 1991, Barack Obama, aligned himself with Professor Derrick Bell's dramatic protest for diversity on the faculty of Harvard Law School.
Bell was the first black tenured professor at the school, and a pioneer of "critical race theory," which insisted, controversially, on reading issues of race and power into legal scholarship.
His protest that spring was occasioned by Harvard's denial of tenure to a black woman professor, Regina Austin, at a time when only three of the law school's professors were black and only five women.
He told Harvard he would take a leave of absence — a kind of academic strike — "until a woman of color is offered and accepted a tenured position on this faculty," and he launched a hunger strike to dramatize his point. - Buzzfeed.com