The website BuzzFeed has released a video from President Obama’s time at Harvard Law school, showing him pushing for greater diversity among the school’s faculty.
Obama’s stance itself is not surprising, but it is one of the few public glimpses of the president before he emerged on the political scene in Chicago, and later Washington.
Per BuzzFeed, in the early ‘90s, Obama “aligned himself with Professor Derrick Bell dramatic protest for diversity on the faculty of Harvard Law School.”
WATCH THE RARE FOOTAGE OF OBAMA AT HARVARD
“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,” writes Andrew Kaczynski of BuzzFeed.
Kaczynski adds, “His (Bell’s) 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.”
Editor’s Note: Although the YouTube clip suggests this footage was shot in 1991, several news outlets have reported that it was actually shot in 1990.