HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - We are continuing our conversation with the YWCA’s "Stand Against Racism" challenge.
This week’s topic is just three words but has led to some heated debates.
"Critical race theory" became buzzwords in Virginia during the 2021 gubernatorial campaign.
But what exactly is it?
Before last year, many of us had never even heard of critical race theory, but now, the term seems to be everywhere.
From turning school board meetings into battlegrounds, to becoming entangled in political elections, it’s become highly contested.
But the truth is, it’s complicated for many of us to understand the definition of CRT, so we spoke with an expert at Norfolk State University who tried to break it down for us.
“Critical race theory was created by legal scholars looking at American history and the American legal system. And in looking at that, they said that almost from the beginning, our legal system and our social system discriminated against people of African descent,” said Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander, history professor and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at NSU.
“And what they wanted lawyers to do and law school students to do, is to understand this process; to understand this history so that when they are, that really was about discrimination, without those words - those actual words - being used.”
If you’d like to hear more from Dr. Newby-Alexander, you can watch the video below to learn more.