All books are collective products, but this venture, more than most, reflects the generosity and commitment of an entire community of friends, scholars, and historical "actors."
There is no way I can thank adequately the nearly one hundred people who took time from their busy lives to share with me their memories about events that, for most, represented central experiences of their own personal histories. They gave freely of their trust and recollections, and in the process made this book possible. Although some will disagree with my conclusions, this book could not have been written without their assistance, and I am grateful.
Many of these individuals also offered me access to private papers, organizational archives, and collections of photographs that illuminated still further the history of these years. At times the records involved just a single document or letter; at others, a volume of data. But in each case the material added invaluably to the body of evidence I was able to draw upon. Specifically I want to thank the following: Edward R. Zane, Otis Hairston, Kay Troxler, the board of the Greensboro YWCA, J. D. Tarpley, Joan Bluethenthal, Warren Ashby, David Schenck, Jr., Vance Chavis, Hal Sieber, John Foster, George and Anna Simkins, William Little, Lewis Brandon, Jack Betts, Jo Spivey, William Snider, Ed Yoder, and Alfred Hamilton.
The manuscript itself has been helped at every point by the criticism of friends willing to ask hard questions and push me to clarify and deepen my understanding of civil rights history. At an early point in the writing, William E. Leuchtenburg and James Patterson challenged me