What’s Wrong with Our Talk About Race? On History, Particularity, and Affirmative Action

One of the striking and original achievements of the Michigan Law Review in its first century was the publication in 1989 of a Symposium entitled Legal Storytelling. Organized by the remarkable editor-in-chief, Kevin Kennedy – who tragically died not long after his graduation – the Symposium not only brought an important topic to the forefront of legal thinking, it did so in an extraordinarily interesting way. For this was not a mere collection of papers; the authors met in small editorial groups to discuss their work in detail, and as a result the whole project has a remarkable coherence and depth. In this Essay I shall build on the idea of that Symposium, but do so in a rather different way from any of those who wrote for it.