PROLOGUE
It is the spring of
1995,
and I am attending my younger son's graduation
from college. A departmental ritual follows the enormous all-college
ceremony, and it is here, in the relative intimacy of the smaller commu-
nity of students and professors who have worked together for years, that
students most deeply feel the dimensions of their accomplishment and
the commencement of a new period in their lives. In a small theater
housed in the Mro-American studies department, where my son Khary
has pursued his academic major, studying African, African Caribbean,
and African American history and literature, there is a feeling of both
excitement and belonging as parents and relatives take their seats, a sense
of coming home from the enormous and largely white world of the all-
campus ceremony. Here, most of the people - professors, students, and
families - are Black, although there are a few other whites besides my-
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