At various points along the way I have tried to call attention to the humanizing power that a sense of gratitude can bring into our lives. Now I am pleased to participate in that spirit myself, acknowledging and celebrating a few of the debts I have incurred in the development of this work.
Of course, some aspects of my appreciation have already been expressed, beginning with the Introduction and its remembrances of the teachers in my life. However there is more to say, and contrary to the usual practice in such a setting, I choose to begin with the profound sense of gratitude I bear for my immediate family of Rosemarie, Rachel and Jonathan Harding, and the essential role they have played in this creative process. Their compassionate and critical readings, their essential research assistance, and their unfailing gifts of loving support were foundational components of the book's development. (In addition, my daughter Rachel Harding's important work on the accompanying teacher's resource guide will soon be available as part of a separate publication.)
I am also very grateful to the diverse company of students and other fellow-seekers who have helped to focus and deepen my own appreciation for the many meanings of the freedom movement, especially through our shared reflections on the Eyes on the Prize video series. My family and I have experienced the power of this story and these films in the company of men, women and children in settings as apparently disparate as Scotland's Island of Iona, the Canyon City ( Colorado) prisons, St. Leo's monastery in Florida, Spelman and Swarthmore Colleges, Hampton and Denver Universities, and in public and independent schools in this city. Moreover, the story and the films have elicited exciting and engaging discussions in churches and