Much of Professor Bell’s scholarship rejected dry legal analysis in favor of stories.
One of his best-known parables is ‘‘The Space Traders,” which appeared in his 1992 book, ”Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism.” In the story, as Professor Bell later described it, creatures from another planet offer the United States ”enough gold to retire the national debt, a magic chemical that will cleanse America’s polluted skies and waters, and a limitless source of safe energy to replace our dwindling reserves.”
In exchange, the creatures ask for only one thing:
America’s black population, which would be sent to outer space.
The white population accepts the offer by an overwhelming margin.