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Acknowledgments Exodus Politics came to fruition not simply as a result of my research, thinking, and writing. Thankfully, I also had friends and colleagues who provided intellectual spaces in which my ideas could grow. Equally important, I had friends and family who provided the emotional support necessary for me to succeed in this endeavor. And last but certainly not least, God and the Spirit were always present, helping me to keep my eyes on the prize—the finished product. Even though I often wrote this book while alone, I am joyous and grateful that I never was lonely when I wrote. While writing a book, one incurs many debts—individual, personal, professional, and institutional—that cannot always be repaid. My acknowledgments, then, reflect my desire to credit all who invested in me, this project, and, in most instances, both. My graduate education afforded me the skill set to write Exodus Politics , so I would like to acknowledge and thank my dissertation adviser Michael Awkward and committee members Rudolph Byrd and Dianne (Stewart) Diakité for their influences on my career. Not only did they help me conceptualize my project and force me to express my ideas precisely , they provided models of productivity and rigor that are worthy of emulation. Dr. Rudolph Byrd passed in 2011, but his commitment to scholarship, teaching, community activism, and institution building has left an enduring legacy. Mark A. Sanders, Regine O. Jackson, and Nagueyalti Warren gave me helpful insights and encouragement throughout my graduate education. I would also like to thank Kharen x / acknowledgments Fulton and Theresa Cox-Kenney of the Laney Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for admitting me into the Graduate School (Kharen), for ensuring that my money was right (Theresa), and, most important, for always encouraging me and being invested in my success. My colleagues at Florida State University played important roles in shaping this book. Elizabeth Spiller, Timothy Parrish, Maxine Montgomery , Jerrilyn McGregory, and Anne Coldiron not only provided excellent mentorship but also read my work and gave me useful feedback. More specifically, I thank Elizabeth, Timothy, and Maxine for reading this manuscript at different stages, and Jerrilyn for helping me develop the initial proposal that elicited an enthusiastic response from the University of Virginia Press. After my departure, Elizabeth and Maxine continued to be collegial and generous, providing insightful readings of my manuscript. Additionally, both the Council for Research and Creative Activity’s First-Year Assistant Professor (FYAP) Summer Grant and the McKnight Junior Faculty Fellowship from the Florida Education Foundation (FEF) helped me advance this project. I appreciate each institution for committing financially to scholarly research. My colleagues at Georgetown University entered this project at a critical stage, and I appreciate their advice, foresight, and assistance. More specifically, Angelyn Mitchell, as one of my faculty mentors, read drafts of the manuscript and gave me useful feedback for its revision. Angie always exhibits generosity, collegiality, and thoughtfulness in our scholarly conversations. Moreover, as the founding director of the African American Studies Program, she has played an instrumental role in building and institutionalizing African American studies at Georgetown . In this capacity, she also has provided many opportunities for me to engage in the interdisciplinary work that was crucial for writing this book. Another colleague, Noel Sugimura, has shown exceptional camaraderie in her willingness to read and respond to different drafts of the manuscript. I also extend gratitude to my colleagues Jennifer Natalya Fink, Brian Hochman, Gay Cima, Patricia O’Connor, Pam Fox, and Henry Schwarz for their publication advice and general support during my tenure at Georgetown. A Junior Faculty Research Fellowship from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and two summer grants from Dean Chester Gillis in the Georgetown College provided research opportunities that pushed this project to its final stages. Finally, my research assistants Regina Hamilton, Esther Owolabi, Khadijah Davis, and Meghan O’Hara gave me invaluable help as I completed Exodus Politics. acknowledgments / xi At the University of Virginia Press, Cathie Brettschneider, the humanities editor, is due special thanks for expressing interest in this project when it was in its early stages and remaining invested in it as I completed it. Ellen Satrom, the managing editor, provided much-appreciated assistance throughout the production process. My two anonymous readers gave important feedback, and Exodus Politics benefited from their insights. Tim Roberts, managing editor of the American Literatures Initiative , shepherded the book through production. Many thanks to Duke University Press for allowing me to include as chapter 1 of...


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