acknowledgments
Black Atlas was conceived of in New York and came into form in the
North Carolina Piedmont. Both places have taught me about the ways
environments shape our stories, and for that I am grateful. At the Grad-
uate Center of the City University of New York I was fortunate to work in
a lively intellectual community made most vibrant by David S. Reynolds,
Robert Reid- Pharr, and Jon- Christian Suggs. Thanks for having faith in
this project in its earliest stages, and for galvanizing my ideas in ways too
numerous to list here. Meena Alexander, David Harvey, and the late Neil
Smith also changed the ways I wrote about space. They amplified the
thought- ways I know to be community. It has been a privilege to learn
from each of you. I must also express my gratitude for research support
to the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas
and the Caribbean at the cuny Graduate Center, the jfk Institute at
the Freie University of Berlin, and the Office of the College of the Dean
at Wake Forest University. I am grateful for the support I have received
from the Melvin Dixon Prize Foundation and the Dunn and Riley Fami-
lies Award for Scholarship and Faculty.
The Office of the College of the Dean at Wake Forest University has
been particularly generous, aiding my research through the Archie, Dingle-
dine, and Faculty Development Funds. Thanks especially to Rebecca
Thomas for ongoing support and to my chairs in English, Claudia Kairoff,
Scott Klein, and Dean Franco. Also thanks to the 16 beaver group in NYC,
the Counter Cartography Collectives of the Research Triangle, and the
Wake Forest Humanities Institute for inspiration.
Along the way, a number of people contributed to this book with their
matchless intellectual generosity: Houston Baker, Sarah Banet- Weiser,
Susan Gillman, Caroline Levander, Bob Levine, Chris Lukasic, Ana María
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