ac know ledg ments
Many people played integral parts in making this book happen to whom
I am eternally grateful. I only have the space to thank some (apologies
for not remembering everyone), but know that I trea sure all of you who
helped me in big and small ways on the journey.
I must fi rst thank those behind the incredible training that I have re-
ceived as a historian, fi rst as a still- unsure undergraduate at Yale, where
Glenda Gilmore saw the scholar in me before I even did, and then at
nyu, where I came to intellectual maturity in the hands of so many skill-
ful mentors. The exemplary scholarship and thoughtful insights of my
advisor, Ada Ferrer, moved my research along through many stages; her
work continues to inspire me. Michael Gomez provided a welcome, eye-
opening space for all his students to think critically about the African
diaspora as a frame for our work. The incredibly kind Sinclair Thom-
son made a lasting mark on my thinking with his extensive knowledge
of pop u lar re sis tance. My endless gratitude goes to the brilliant Jennifer
Morgan for her pathbreaking scholarship and sage advice. I am indebted
to her in too many ways, and still learn from her daily. The anthropolo-
gist Constance Sutton reframed how I see the Ca rib bean. I trea sure her
teaching and the many life lessons she has shared with me. Also many
thanks to past and current nyu faculty whose presence was transfor-
mative for my scholarship, including the consummate scholar Martha
Hodes; Robin Kelley, with whom a few minutes of conversation changed
my approach to everything; and Barbara Krauthamer, who taught me
how to teach.
nyu faculty off ered me great guidance, but my fellow graduate stu-
dents made me smarter every day I worked alongside them. Thanks to
Tanya Huelett, Aisha Finch, Edwina Ashie- Nikoi, Brian Purnell, Sherie
Randolph, Marc Goulding, Maxine Gordon, Peter Hudson, Njoroge
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