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xv Acknowledgments I have been writing this book for the better part of a decade and I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who brought this moment to fruition. I would first and foremost like to thank God, for none of this would be possible without my faith and the protection He provides through my ancestors. I am so thankful for my sisters, Cincia Kerr who keeps me sane and grounded and Kelsi Brooks, who shows me how to chase my dreams. My brother-in-law, Solanke Kerr and the best niece and nephew a woman could ask for, Isabella Marie and Gregory Elijah. My aunts, Clara Stansberry, Earline Brooks, and Sedonia Brooks, for their steady guidance as well as my awesomely cool Uncle Raymond Dunn. I would also like to thank my cousin, Sergeant First Class Retired Leonidas Brooks for letting me share memories of our beloved Aunt Errolyn and his mom, my Aunt Linda. And to the rest of the Diva Trinity—We made it, Drs. Brandy Huderson and Ashley Jackson! I have been blessed with an amazing network of girlfriends while here in San Antonio. These women have become my family and have always been there for me when I dared doubt my abilities. So thank you, Sonja Lanehart, Joycelyn Moody, Deborah Thoma, LaGuana Gray, Rhonda Gonzales, Patricia Francois, Andrea “Vocab” Sanderson, Kirsten Thompson, and Kellie Hamilton Ferrier. And I also thank your partners and children for welcoming me into their hearts and homes. When I was at my lowest point in writing this book, I met John Jennings who invited me to Astroblackness 2 and informally xv inducted me into the Black Speculative Arts Movement—or did I just bumrush and make a place for myself? Meeting and connecting with a group of black academics who were geeked out by all things blerd gave me that final push of confidence to ascertain that my theories had a place in the academy and were urgently needed. Thank you for being #Squad John,Susana Morris,Stacey Robinson, Regina Bradley, Reynaldo Anderson, and Nalo Hopkinson. Thank you to my trove of mentors who have guided my career; I must commend their guidance, beginning with Trudier Harris who continues to pick up the phone whenever I need her. I would also like to thank Gwendolyn Pough,Michele Levy,Mae G.Henderson, and Nicholas Jones for their continued support and belief in my potential. I would like to thank the University of Texas at San Antonio, particularly the support provided by the College of Liberal and Fine Arts Faculty Development Leave program—please bring it back.That semester of research without any teaching commitments proved invaluable to finishing my monograph,and other professors need that support. I am thankful for the Faculty Boot Camp at the National Center for Faculty Development Diversity—my working group helped me develop the discipline and rigor needed to finish this book project. I would also like to thank the Sue E. Denman Distinguished Chair in American Literature for welcoming me as a postdoctoral fellow and the Brackenridge Endowed Chair in Literature and the Humanities for continuous research support. I received so much help from my graduate students in terms of gathering and organizing my research. Thank you, Stephanie Schoellman, for your help with the Appendix; Christopher Guzman for helping me with the book’s visuals;and Alexis McGee, for your dedication. Finally, I want to thank my husband, Amadou Jallow, for being my anchor. xvi Acknowledgments Searching for Sycorax ...


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