At 8:10 a.m. on a very cold day on December 12, 1997, a taxicab pulled in the driveway of the author's home on North Beaver Street, Flagstaff, Arizona, and the author quickly jumped into the backseat for a 15-minute ride to Northern Arizona University. The previous evening the author had called the cab company to ask to pick him up exactly at 7:45 a.m. because his own car was under repair in a local repair shop. The cab was therefore 25 minutes late. Sensing the frustration that the author was going through due to the delay, the driver tried something to ease that frustration. He apologized profusely for coming late, saying, among other things, that the dispatcher had asked him to pick up and deliver one passenger before he picked up the author.
As the cab pulled away the driver began to make disjointed statements and asked disconnected questions in a manner that did not allow the author to respond. He noted that the author spoke with a distinctive British African accent, and wanted to know if he was originally from Britain or Africa and how long he had been teaching at Northern Arizona University, and where he was educated. Finally the driver wanted to know if the author knew Dr. Dickson A. Mungazi, who, he said, was a prominent Regents Professor and author of quite a number of books on Africa and the United States. He added that these books had aroused his interest in Africa and that his favorites were The Mind of Black Africa