First, we want to thank the Creator, God Almighty, for stickin' to, watchin' over, and gettin' with us long before, during, and after this book. Special thanks go to our parents, family, brothers, and sisters, who raised us and shaped us the best way they knew how. Thanks to Dad, Howard Sr., who was always present for every event, supporting and encouraging us. Thanks to Mom, who was not shy in showing us affection every day of our lives but who, like a hawk, would rip the heart out of anyone who tried to mess with our cultural spirits and souls. We wish to thank all the folks who raised us in the neighborhoods we grew up in. We are grateful to the many visible and invisible “aunts and uncles” and “moms and dads” from Sunday school to high school who took the time to challenge us, scold us, embrace us, and watch us when we played, when we fell, and even when we left home. Without those many eyes, the larger village of caring adults, we would not be able to see deeply into ourselves. Thanks to Margaret Spencer, who as a colleague and friend has provided affection, protection, and correction and reminded us to be prepared daily for the world we are living in. Finally, special thanks to our children, Bryan, Sahir, Sana, Safwan, Siddique, Safiyah, and Sabriyah for teaching us not to forget what it means to be human.
July 2001 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
HOWARD C. STEVENSON