Abstract

This article analyzes the changing relationship of race and class in the work of Charles Mills. Mills tells the story of his career by tracing an arc “from class to race,” which includes “an evolution of both focus and approach” that shifts the terms of his work “from red to black.” The article complicates this story by reading Mills's evolution through an intersectional lens. An intersectional approach to Mills's work allows a better appreciation (as he would agree) of how he does not move from class to race in the sense of abandoning the former for the latter, nor in the sense that race is utterly absent from his earlier work on class. Race and class are entangled with each other, and with gender and other axes of identity and power, in complex ways throughout his corpus. Mills's work remains red in certain respects—sometimes problematically from an intersectional perspective—even as it takes on black concerns and perspectives. On the flip side, as the end of the article asks, can Mills's work remain sufficiently red—that is, explicitly grapple with class concerns—as it tries to add some color to a whitewashed liberalism?

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