Charles W. Mills

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Date: 2018
From: Contemporary Black Biography
Publisher: Gale
Document Type: Biography
Length: 1,507 words

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Charles W. Mills is an influential political philosopher, author, and educator. He achieved widespread renown in 1997 with the publication of his first book, The Racial Contract. In this groundbreaking study, Mills offers an exhaustive critique of Western political philosophy, asserting that the concept of white supremacy has played a central role in shaping contemporary liberal ideology. In his writings, Mills strives to identify ways that the perspectives of African Americans and other minorities have been systematically omitted from the history of modern political thought. The philosopher's other major works include Blackness Visible: Essays on Philosophy and Race (1998) and Black Rights/White Wrongs: The Critique of Racial Liberalism (2017). In addition to earning praise for his writings, Mills has also enjoyed a successful career as a professor, teaching at institutions such as Northwestern University and the Graduate Center at the City University of New York.

Dedicated Academic Pursuits to Racial Inequality

Charles Wade Mills was born in 1951 in London, England, the son of Jamaican parents. His father, Gladstone Mills, was a civil servant and academic who served as a liaison officer for the British colonial government of the West Indies. His mother, Winnifred Mills, studied nursing at Westminster Hospital. Soon after Mills's birth, the family returned to Jamaica, where he was raised and educated. A gifted student, he eventually earned a scholarship to attended the University of the West Indies, where he completed his undergraduate degree in physics in 1971. For the next two years, Mills lectured in physics at the College of Arts, Science and Technology in Kingston, Jamaica, before receiving a Commonwealth Scholarship to pursue graduate studies at the University of Toronto. Upon earning his master's degree in philosophy in 1976, Mills returned to Jamaica, where he spent the 1976-77 school year teaching physics at Kingston's Campion College.

In 1977 Mills returned to Toronto to resume his graduate work in philosophy. Over the next several years, he dedicated his energy to completing his doctoral thesis, supporting himself by working as a grader and instructor. After completing his PhD in 1985, Mills continued teaching at the University of Toronto for two more years before accepting an assistant professor position at the University of Oklahoma. Throughout this period, Mills published frequently in various anthologies and academic journals,...

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Source Citation
"Charles W. Mills." Contemporary Black Biography, vol. 146, Gale, 2018. Accessed 5 Dec. 2021.

Gale Document Number: GALE|K1606008280