On Thursday, November 11, 2021 Boston Review hosted a virtual roundtable in memory of Charles W. Mills.

Mills, who passed away in September, was Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). He was widely known for his work on social and political philosophy, ethics, and Marxist thought. Mills’ most influential book, The Racial Contract, has had a profound and lasting impact on contemporary thinking about race and justice.

A group of philosopher and public intellectuals came together to honor his life, his work in philosophy and political theory, and most importantly, what he meant for so many.


Joshua Cohen is a political philosopher. He has written on issues of democratic theory, freedom of expression, religious freedom, political equality, and global justice. He is currently on the faculty at Apple University, and since 1991, he has been editor of Boston Review.

Derrick Darby is Henry Rutgers professor of philosophy at Rutgers University, New Brunskwick. He works in social and political philosophy and writes about rights, inequality, and democracy. His most recent co-authored book is The Color of Mind: Why the Origins of the Achievement Gap Matter for Justice (Chicago).

Robert Gooding-Williams is the M. Moran Weston/Black Alumni Council Professor of African-American Studies and Professor of Philosophy and of African-American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University. His areas of research and teaching interests include Social and Political Philosophy, the History of African-American Political Thought, 19th Century European Philosophy, Existentialism, and Aesthetics. He is the author of several books, including the award-winning In the Shadow of Du Bois (Harvard UP, 2009).

Desmond Jagmohan is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, where he specializes in the history of African American and political thought. His current research and teaching interests include the politics of deception, theories of property, slavery, and domination, and the ideas of nationalism and self-determination. He is completing his first book, Dark Virtues: Booker T. Washington’s Tragic Realism, which studies moral agency—including the use of deception—under conditions of extremity such as slavery and Jim Crow.

Falguni A. Sheth is a political philosopher of race and feminist critical security studies. Currently Associate Professor in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Emory University, Sheth is the author of Toward a Political Philosophy of Race (SUNY Press, 2009). Her next book, Unruly Women: Race, Neocolonialism, and the Hijab (Oxford 2022) is due out in January.

Tommie Shelby is the Caldwell Titcomb Professor of African American Studies and of Philosophy at Harvard University. He is the author of Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform, (Belknap, 2016) which won the 2018 David and Elaine Spitz Prize for the best book in liberal and/or democratic theory and the 2016 Book Award from the North American Society for Social Philosophy.