To thank is to think, to meditate about the special people who participate
in our lives and help define who we are. Without them our own identities,
our ‘‘narratives of the self,’’ are not possible. Like ocean waves, the flows of
life come and go, bringing and taking away people and feelings, but at the
same time maintaining a certain constancy without which we have no
reference. I hope that these few words are capable of expressing my deepest
gratitude for those individuals that, in many di√erent ways, have helped
me throughout my life and academic career. I thank my parents, Fernando
and Bernadette Pinho, for their everlasting generosity and for their exam-
ple of love and tolerance, and my siblings, Marianna, Rodrigo, and Fernan-
dinho, with whom I have learned the practice of coexisting in diversity. I
am grateful to my grandmothers, Vovó Conceição, whose forward-think-
ing spirit is a source of inspiration to me, and Isaura, who immersed us
in beautiful hybrid traditions. Many thanks to Rosária, Elisa, Ciça, Eman-
uel, and Sonildes, as well as to my dear friend Creusa, for their constant
love and support.
I am grateful for the wonderful learning experience o√ered to me by the
Universidade Estadual de Campinas (unicamp), where I had great col-
leagues and professors, among whom are my advisor Teresa Sales and
professors Fernando Lourenço, Célia Marinho de Azevedo, and Josué Per-
eira da Silva. Thanks to fapesp (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado
de São Paulo) for having supported my PhD studies at unicamp and my
stay at Yale University as a visiting graduate student in 2001. Thanks to the
Henry Hart Rice Foundation for supporting my postdoctoral fellowship in
the African American Studies Department and the Council on Latin Ameri-
can and Iberian Studies at Yale in 2002–2003, and to the Mellon Foundation
for supporting my postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Black
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