Rhonda M. Williams

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Rhonda M. Williams graduated cum laude from Harvard-Radcliffe College in 1978 and went on to earn her Ph.D. in economics from M.I.T in 1983. In 1986 she joined the faculty of the University of Maryland as an assistant professor of Afro-American studies and economics. While serving as director of the Afro-American Studies Program, Dr. Williams was widely published and was an active consultant and instructor in curriculum transformation. She spent nine years working with the Afro-American Studies Program's Multicultural Teacher Education Training Institute for Prince George's County public school teachers. On November 7, 2000, Dr. Williams died of cancer at her home in Hyattsville, Maryland. She is deeply missed by her colleagues, students and the university community.

"Profit-conscious capitalists actively and willfully participate in acts of discrimination and unfair practices as a part of their deliberate behavior to beat out their competitors and make the most profits.  Williams and Kenison therefore define discrimination as follows:

'Race-gender discrimination arises when race and gender identified agents act
collectively to secure employment, occupational/industrial niches, higher wages,
and/or to avoid prolonged spells in the reserve army of the unemployed ... [R]ace
and gender solidarity historically has increased white male workers’ competitive
advantage vis-a-vis Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and white women (pp. 9-10).'"


  • William Spriggs & Rhonda M. Williams, How Does it Feel to be Free?: Reflections on Black-White Economic Inequality in the Era of Color-Blind Law, Review of Black Political Economy, Vol. 27 (Summer 1999): 9-21.

Also in Thomas D. Boston (ed.) Leading Issues in Black Political Economy (Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2001