On page 61, the second Afrolantica Legacy begins, a parable titled “The Citadel” told to Professor Derrick Bell by his female idealization of himself, the civil rights lawyer-activist Geneva Crenshaw. (We also learn that actually Geneva was the alien prophetess Chiara from the previous chapter.) The story serves to illustrate the second of Bell’s dogmas: “Service in the cause of truth and justice is no less worthy of praise because it is misunderstood, misused, or condemned.”
The story depicts a world of class conflict: the rich residents of the Citadel oppress the noble commoners who live in the hills below, the so-called lowlanders. The Citadel’s current master, the iron-fisted Xercis, encounters opposition from his idealistic daughter Tamar who longs to end the abuse of the lowlanders.
Page 67 presents one of their arguments:
“the price of maintaining power over others is the continuing risk of their revolt. But we must abide by the teaching of our forebears. Whatever its cost, we must maintain dominance.”
Bell’s fairy tale reinvents the Marxist understanding of bourgeoisie vs proletariat into Citadel vs Lowlanders. This mythology of class warfare defining human existence — life as a zero-sum game where one “side” must always lose in order for another to benefit — serves as one of the foundational dogmas of his Critical Race Theory. “Blackness” and “Whiteness” remain locked in permanent conflict and we don’t need it spelled out which side professor Bell has cast as proletariat for his morality play.
Out in the real world there exists an often forgotten piece of “collateral damage” in this class war. Genuine victims, harmed by those inflaming racial divisions.