Dancing with Charles: A man, scholar, legacy

Cheryl E. Matias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scholars like Leonardo (2009) or Yancy (2006) regularly apply, otherwise, dance with Charles Mills’ concepts like the Racial Contract (Mills 1997), epistemology of ignorance (Mills 2007), and white Marxism and Black Radicalism (Mills 2003). By extension, when other educational scholars apply Leonardo or Yancy they inadvertently dance with Charles too. Partner dancing, such as bachata, is about a continual ebb and flow between dance partners, taking turns leading and following. So, whether directly engaging Charles’s conceptualization like the Racial Contract or entangling with his work vis-à-vis scholarly concepts derived from his original conceptualization we, as scholars, continue to dance with Charles, letting him lead at times, following at others. Essentially, Charles’s scholarship and his legacy never skip a beat in the academic cadence of educational research on race, ethnicity, and education. This piece pays homage to his legacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-425
Number of pages7
JournalRace Ethnicity and Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Racial Contract
  • justice
  • race
  • whiteness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education


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