Because of my mothers. Because of my fathers. Because of my
teachers. Because of my witnesses. Because of my sisters. Be-
cause of my brothers. Because of all my relations. Because of my
community. Because of my collaborators. Because of our ances-
tors. Because of the sweet purveyors of our unpromised future.
Because of my champion. You know who you are. Multitudes.
I would especially like to thank my parents, Pauline McKen-
zie and Clyde Gumbs; my mentor, Cheryll Greene; and my part-
ner, Julia Roxanne Wallace/Sangodare, for their love and sup-
“daughters have their own agendas” was inspired by Amaya
Claire Jacques, daughter of the artist Soraya Jean-Louis
McElroy and founder of the Black Magnolias reading group.
“is a question we cannot politely ask” was inspired by the
brave poetry and mothering of Joy KMT.
Everyone at Duke University Press and especially Ken
Wissoker, Jade Brooks, Nicole Campbell, Jessica Ryan, and
the anonymous readers blessed me with their enthusiasm,
attention, and specificity.