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This profile was last updated on 12/1/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Prof. Quincy T. Mills

Wrong Prof. Quincy T. Mills?

Assistant Professor of History

Phone: (845) ***-****  
Vassar College
124 Raymond Ave
Poughkeepsie , New York 12604
United States

Company Description: Vassar is developing a database application for digitized art images (See the article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, January 24, 2003). We'd be glad to...   more


  • University of Illinois
  • M.A.
    University of Chicago
  • M.B.A.
    DePaul University
  • Ph.D.
    University of Chicago
  • diploma
    Leo High School
31 Total References
Web References
Cutting Along the Color Line by Quincy T. Mills ’93 [cached]
Cutting Along the Color Line by Quincy T. Mills '93
Class of 1993 graduate Quincy Mills has had a busy life since he received his diploma from Leo High School. He followed Leo by earning his B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, his M.B.A. from DePaul, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He currently occupies himself teaching African American history at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY where he has found the time to write a well received book on the history of black barber shops in America.
Quincy Mills' book, Cutting Along the Color Line chronicles the cultural history of black barber shops as businesses and civic institutions. Through several generations of barbers, Mills examines the transition from slavery to freedom in the nineteenth century, the early twentieth-century expansion of black consumerism, and the challenges of professionalization, licensing laws, and competition from white barbers. He finds that the profession played a significant though complicated role in twentieth-century racial politics: while the services of shaving and grooming were instrumental in the creation of socially acceptable black masculinity, barbering permitted the financial independence to maintain public spaces that fostered civil rights politics. This sweeping, engaging history of an iconic cultural establishment shows that black entrepreneurship was intimately linked to the struggle for equality.
"Quincy T. Mills's important book provides fascinating insight into the history of African American barbers.
Quincy Mills has taken a familiar institution, the neighborhood barbershop, and revealed an unknown history that utterly transforms our understanding of what we thought it was.
Straight Razors and Social Justice: The Empowering Evolution of Black Barbershops | Collectors Weekly [cached]
Quincy Mills, a professor of history at Vassar College, started looking closely at black barbershops when assisting Melissa Harris-Perry with research for her first book, Barbershops, Bibles, BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought.
Harris-Perry wanted to do a close study of barbershops, but was worried that as a woman, her presence would alter the nature of the space and its conversation. In her place, Mills observed the interactions of a barbershop on the South Side of Chicago four to five days a week during the summer of 2000.
"As I sat there day in and day out, I couldn’t help but wonder how these spaces have been situated historically," says Mills. "I had seen passing mentions of black barbershops in the literature on black urban history, but there weren't any books on the topic. I wondered, 'Were these shops the same in 1940? And what about 1840?'"
Mills spent the next decade researching the barbershop trade for his book, Cutting Along the Color Line: Black Barbers and Barber Shops in America, drawing fascinating connections between race, capitalism, and culture. We recently spoke with Mills about the roots of black barbershops and their relevance today.
Quincy Mills: In the South, barbers were both enslaved and free black men.
Mills: Before the Civil War, in the North, there was already freedom for blacks, so there was a discourse around respectable occupations for African Americans in this free society.
Mills: Yes, it was all about the mechanical trades or carpentry, obviously skilled positions.
Mills: Part of professionalizing the trade meant to re-skill the trade, an obviously racialized project to make barbering a more attractive field for whites to enter.
Mills: Absolutely not, so little that state health departments were baffled at these bills, most of which did not consult them.
Mills: In terms of black barbershops opening in black communities, by and large, it wasn’t so much as a result of the union efforts.
Mills: Barbershops are commercial spaces, so anyone can technically go inside themâ€"it’s not like somebody's home where you have to get permission to enter.
Mills: Yes, definitely.
Mills: Actually, I think that even if Jim Crow had not come to be, these shops would still have functioned the same way because of the needs of hair type and black cultural life.
Mills: I think it's an important trade for many black communities largely because there are still few barriers to entry.
Mills: There’s some merit to the argument that you need open spaces where folks from various nationalities or races can get together and talk about weighty matters.
Quincy T. ... [cached]
Quincy T. Mills
Quincy T. Mills is associate professor of history at Vassar College where he teaches African American history. Originally from Chicago, he earned his M.B.A. from DePaul University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He teaches classes on Martin Luther King, Jr., race and segregation, the civil rights and black power movement, and consumer culture. Professor Mills 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. He is currently at work on his second monograph, tentatively titled The Wages of Resistance: Financing the Black Freedom Movement , which examines the politics of grassroots fundraising among civil rights and black power organizations to support local activists and sustain movement building.
" Quincy T. Mills's important book provides fascinating insight into the history of African American barbers. He vividly captures their culture, traditions, and perseverance to succeed against tremendous odds. A brilliant overview of this prestigious tradition ."-Zariff, barber to President Obama
Quincy T. Mills, a history ... [cached]
Quincy T. Mills, a history professor at Vassar College and author of Cutting Along the Color Line, describes the black barbershop as "private spaces in the public sphere for Black men."3 "The barbershop is where black men can come to reconnect, to be themselves, and enjoy each other's company," said Sean Thompson, owner of Sean's House of Masters Barbershop.
The Black History Project ... [cached]
The Black History Project Committee presents Dr. Quincy Mills
"Cutting Along the Color Line" Lecture & Reception with Professor Quincy Mills
December 7, 2013 from 3pm to 5pm - Mid-Hudson Heritage Center Join us for a lecture and reception celebrating the launch of "Cutting Along the Color Line: Black Barbers and Barber Shops in America" by Vassar professor Quincy T. Mills.
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