Janet Dewart Bell

Janet Dewart Bell is a social justice activist with a doctorate in leadership and change from Antioch University. She founded the Derrick Bell Lecture on Race in American Society series at the New York University School of Law and is the author of Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement and Blackbirds Singing: Inspiring Black Women’s Speeches from the Civil War to the Twenty-First Century and the co-editor (with Vincent M. Southerland) of Carving Out a Humanity and Race, Rights, and Redemption (all published by The New Press). An award-winning television and radio producer, she lives in New York City.

News and Reviews

New York Times Book Review

A “New and Noteworthy” pick

Kirkus Reviews

Candid testimony from impressive and influential women.

Publishers Weekly

Bell deploys impressive interviewing skills in this valuable collection of oral histories of nine female civil rights activists. . . This is a valuable and enlightening companion to other accounts of the movement.

Shelf Awareness

Bell reminds readers that one story is never enough to truly explain a movement.


Books by Janet Dewart Bell

Carving Out a Humanity
Race, Rights, and Redemption

Janet Dewart Bell, Vincent M. Southerland

Lighting the Fires of Freedom
African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement

Janet Dewart Bell

Race, Rights, and Redemption
The Derrick Bell Lectures on the Law and Critical Race Theory

Janet Dewart Bell, Vincent M. Southerland