First and foremost, I must thank my family for their constant love and support. For my mother--my center, my sun; my father--from whom I get my ambition; and my sisters--my joys, I am eternally grateful. To Big John and Lin, thanks for tolerating me and for letting me turn your basement into "Bibliography Central." I must also thank Terence, whose radiance and spirit sustained me during the initial stages of this project.
Academically, I am indebted to the entire Department of English at Howard University. Since there are no words to describe the graduate faculty, I must settle for remarkable. Special thanks to Dr. R. Victoria Arana, my scholarly inspiration; Dr. Sandra G. Shannon, whose interests in drama initially motivated this project; Dr. Jeanne-Marie Miller, a leading scholar in the area of African American drama; Dr. Jennifer Jordan, whose thoroughness and organization shape this work; and Dr. John M. Reilly, whose selflessness makes every academic endeavor more bearable. I am also indebted to my academic base--the English Department at Grambling State University, particularly Dr. Anne S. Williams, who has been and always will be my academic foundation.
Near the end of this project, the world lost one of its greatest advocates of education, my maternal grandfather, my "Papa." Though he had a limited formal education, he always knew the importance of and the power in educating others. Through his children, my mother and my aunts and uncles, he helped to inform the world. In so many ways, his dedication to making knowledge more accessible to others inspired me to complete this project with pleasure. Through the family he has left behind, he continues to help, to inform and to educate the world.