Quincy T. Mills

Quincy T. Mills teaches and conducts research in African American history. Originally from Chicago, he earned his B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1997), his M.B.A. from DePaul University (2004), and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (2006). He teaches classes on Martin Luther King, Jr., race and segregation, the civil rights and black power movement, and consumer culture.

Professor Mills’s research focuses on African American social movements and financial security. Particularly, he is interested in how African Americans’ wages, wealth, and overall financial well-being helped shape black public spaces, political engagement, and activism. He is author of Cutting Along the Color Line: Black Barbers and Barber Shops in America (2013). This book chronicles the history of black barber shops as businesses and civic institutions, demonstrating their central role in civil rights struggles throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. With Benjamin Talton, he co-edited Black Subjects in Africa and Its Diasporas: Race and Gender in Research and Writing (2011). With Melissa Harris-Lacewell, he coauthored “Truth and Soul: Black Talk in the Barbershop” in Harris-Lacewell’s Barbershops, Bibles and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought (2004). He is currently at work on his second monograph, tentatively titled The Wages of Resistance: Financing the Black Freedom Movement, which examines how civil rights and black power organizations negotiated fundraising imperatives with their political ideologies as functions of movement building.