Completion of this book would not have been possible without the generosity of the Provost and Deans of Duke University, the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy, and Susan Roth, PhD, Chair of the Duke Department of Psychology: Social and Health Sciences. With their support, a multidisciplinary group of scholars was able to meet to share research findings, debate theories, and formulate crucial questions pertaining to African American families. The group's activities culminated in a 2-day conference held at Duke's Sanford Institute of Public Policy on May 15–16, 2003, attended by 125 scholars, students, and public leaders. The lively discussion and penetrating analyses that emerged during that conference led to this book.
The contributors also wish to thank the following people for their insightful reviews of early drafts of the chapters: Dalton Conley, Martha Crowther, Christina Gibson-Davis, Algea Harrison-Hale, Hayward Derrick Horton, Diane Hughes, Beth Kurtz-Costes, Ruth McRoy, Scott South, and Lorraine Taylor. Their constructive critiques and intellectual generosity greatly enhanced the quality of our work. In addition, we are very grateful for the assistance of Lynda Harrison and Barbara Pollock of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy.