In Memoriam: Charles Wade Mills, 1951-2021

Charles W. Mills, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, died on September 20. He was 70 years old and had suffered from cancer.

Born in England and raised in Jamaica, Professor Mills earned a bachelor’s degree in physics at the University of the West Indies. He went on to earn a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Toronto.

After teaching in Jamaica, Dr. Mills joined the faculty at the University of Oklahoma in 1987. He then taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago for 17 years before being named the John Evans Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He joined the faculty of the City University of New York in 2016.

Earlier this year, the American Political Science Association chose Professor Mills as the recipient of its biennial Benjamin E. Lippincott Award, which honors a work of exceptional quality by a living political theorist that is still considered significant 15 or more years after its first publication. He was honored for his book The Racial Contract (Cornell University Press, 1997). In the book’s introduction, Mills writes, “White supremacy is the unnamed political system that has made the modern world what it is today.” He set out to create a framework for understanding racism, or white supremacy, as a power structure, one that allows white people to act against their own moral principles.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Alcorn State University Announces Unique STEM-Focused MBA Degree Program

The new STEM-MBA program at Alcorn State, the first of its kind in the state of Mississippi, will prepare students to become business leaders in STEM industries through courses on foundational STEM and business concepts, as well as data analysis and strategic decision-making.

Five Black Women Who Have Been Appointed to Dean Positions at Universities Across the United States

Here is this week’s roundup of African Americans who have been appointed to dean positions at universities throughout the United States. If you have news for our appointments section, please email the information to

PNC Partners With Howard University to Empower Black Entrepreneurship

The Howard University and PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship aims to support and educate Black entrepreneurs from across the country. The collaborative initiative includes three other HBCU partners: Morgan State University, Clark Atlanta University, and Texas Southern University.

Saida Grundy Wins Race, Gender, and Class Book Award From the American Sociology Association

Dr. Grundy's book, Respectable: Politics and Paradox in Making the Morehouse Man, explores the culture and experiences of graduates from Morehouse College in Atlanta, the country's only historically Black college for men.

Featured Jobs