Bringing this book to a successful conclusion would not have been possible without the generous support and assistance of many people. I wish to give special thanks to Dr. Ellen Conley and Dr. Herbert Nelson of Canisius College for supporting my research with a sabbatical and summer fellowship. I am also deeply grateful to Mrs. Lucy Jagodzinski and Ms. Moira Ragan who word processed and formatted the manuscript and faithfully saw it through so many revisions. Their tireless work, patience, and expertise were absolutely crucial to the book's success. I am also very much in debt to my research assistants, Kevin Jones and Marisa Loffredo, whose skilled and steady work were enormously helpful in all stages of the book's development. My deepest thanks go to my students at Tougaloo College and Stillman College who first made visible to me the wonders of Ellison's art and also to my students at Canisius College, Collins Correctional Facility, Attica Correctional Facility, and Wyoming Correctional Facility, who over the years have enabled me to see more fully the richness and complexity of Ellison great novel, Invisible Man. I would also like to thank Professor John F. Callahan of Lewis and Clark College for his generous support and encouragement.
But most of all, I want to express heartfelt thanks and appreciation to my wife, Mary Jo, and my children, Becky, Geoff, Mike, and Eric. As always, their high spirits, encouragement, and belief were vital resources that magically increased the more I drew from them.