This project owes so much to so many people who have generously helped in so many ways that I am sure I will miss somebody or forget some invaluable assistance rendered me. So please forgive me in advance if I overlook someone or fail to recall something. Just because I am absentminded does not mean that I am not grateful. In any event, whatever worth this project may have is largely due to everyone who has guided, informed, corrected, and encouraged me. And, of course, the shortcomings of this study are solely my own.
In the first place, I would like to thank everyone who allowed me to interview them or who answered written questions at length (in some cases more than once): Muhammad Ahmad, Abdul Alkalimat, Ernest Allen Jr., Amina Baraka, Amiri Baraka (still my poet laureate), Grace Lee Boggs, Herb Boyd, John Bracey Jr., Ed Bullins, Sam Cornish, Jayne Cortez, Ebon Dooley, Dan Georgakas, Calvin Hicks, Esther Cooper Jackson, James Jackson, Maulana Karenga, Woodie King Jr., Haki Madhubuti, Marvin X, Ron Milner, Sterling Plumpp, Kalamu ya Salaam, Sonia Sanchez, Budd Schulberg, John Sinclair, A. B. Spellman, Edward Spriggs, Nelson Stevens, William Strickland, Michael Thelwell, Lorenzo Thomas, Askia Touré, Jerry Ward, and Nayo Watkins.
I am also deeply indebted to the many people who answered questions, gave me leads, shared their research, read larger or smaller portions of this study, and encouraged me in ways large and small: Shawn Alexander, Michael Bibby, Melba Joyce Boyd, Wini Breines, Randall Burkett, Lisa Collins, Margo Crawford, Maria Damon, Gary Daynes, Angela Dillard, Alan Filreis, Barbara Foley, Chris Funkhouser, Ignacio Garcia, Barry Gaspar, Henry Louis Gates Jr., John Gennari, Der