This anthology is the product of an enormous amount of encouragement from relatives and friends. My sincerest thanks go to Marilyn Brownstein, Humanities Editor at Greenwood Press, who understood when I talked to her about needing to go in search of my mothers' gardens and who encouraged me to submit a proposal. Thanks, Marilyn, for helping to make a ten-year dream a reality.
I give a very special thanks to my husband, Lucius M. Guillory, who is a steady ship day and night. He believes in me unconditionally.
A word of thanks goes to my parents, Marjorie and Leo Brown, and my siblings, John, Lelia, Oakley Ann, Theresa, Roy, Leo, and Ronnie. Each has found a way to motivate me in this and in other projects. Their pride in me makes me want to do something great with my life.
I am especially grateful to Ineatha Waters and Naomi Lawrence, Dillard University students, who in the early stages of this anthology assisted me with clerical matters.
I cannot forget L. Marie Guillory, my sister-in-law, a Washington, D.C., attorney, who graciously investigated matters concerning copyright permissions and whose interest in my research gave me encouragement.
The University of Houston deserves a special thanks, particularly the Office of Sponsored Programs, which awarded me a Limited-Grant-in-Aid (LGIA), thus allowing me to secure a research assistant for one semester. A very special thanks goes to my research assistant, Shennette Garrett, who typed the first draft of the plays included in the anthology as well as assisted me in compiling a list of plays produced and published by black women.
Two other sources of encouragement at the University of Houston were Dr. Terrell Dixon, English department chairperson, and Dr. Roberta Weldon, Director of Graduate Studies in English, both of whom shared in my enthusiasm to bring this project to fruition.
Finally, I wish to express sincere thanks to Anne Rowe, Professor of English at Florida State University and director of my dissertation. It was