In this Essay tribute to Professor Bell, the Author chooses to examine the ever-controversial science fiction narrative, The Space Traders, for its paradox. In one instance, The Space Traders is arguably a myopic representation of race insofar as it operates within a very specific theoretical race construct, the Black/White binary. But almost at once, in another instance, the paradox seems to precisely capture the truth of racial experience: we all are reduced to and defined by the Black/White binary.
For Professor Bell, as a critical race theorist, race is located strictly within the binary. But experience, for those that are neither Black nor White, is far more complex and overreaching—sometimes—than the binary. In other words, for Latin@s, the kaleidoscope is not monosyllabic or monochromatic; it is instead ranging with multiple colors, dimensions, and lines. The experience of Latin@s does not simply move from Whiteness to Blackness. Or does it? In this Essay, therefore, the Author explores the paradox that defines the Latin@ experience—they exist both within and without the binary. As the Latin@ population in the United States, certainly in the South, continues to surge, the binary does and does not capture the Latin@ race drama. Latin@s effectively disrupt the generally accepted understanding of what race and color in the Unites State is.
Geiza Vargas-Vargas, LATIN@S, DISRUPTING RACIAL NORMATIVITY IN DERRICK BELL'S THE SPACE TRADERS, 36 W. New Eng. L. Rev. 131 (2014), https://digitalcommons.law.wne.edu/lawreview/vol36/iss2/3