Friday, April 13, 2012

[cue sappy moment]

I figured that I'd share my acknowledgements page with you all, so that you could see exactly how much this means to me:


This work is for anyone who didn’t know their racial or ethnic self until they came to college, and for anyone who thought they knew, but faced some racial schooling once they got to campus anyway.

I would like to thank the following people and institutions, without whom I wouldn’t have become who I am, and this work would not have been possible:

My mother and my father, who each always managed to affirm and insert Blackness in my life in the smallest but most meaningful of ways. My family more broadly, for the innumerable little things they did and do in support.

C**** H***, former supervisor of the English Department at Oakcrest High School, who will most likely never know that he was the first person to tell me my dreams weren’t big enough. All of the teachers and supervisors in my past who thought I would be an engineer, who helped make me who I am, even if that person isn’t who we thought I’d be.

“The Black community”—problematic as the term may be—at Princeton, for providing my encounter, serving as my immersion, and letting me grow into internalization.

K****** S****, for helping me think through every issue with this project from start to finish, as well as for being generally invaluable. E**** Y**, for being my conscience. S.O., J.B., and the entire Large Library Crew, for helping me find my voice. The Princeton Quadrangle Club more generally, for being exactly what I needed.

Professors Douglas Massey and J. Nicole Shelton for their guidance and challenges, along with everyone who participated in and passed along my questionnaire.

The African-American Studies Program at Princeton University, for instilling in me the idea that my lived experiences and those of my people are subjects worthy of study. No other coursework or interactions have so fundamentally reconfigured my worldview.

The Sociology Department of Princeton University, for teaching me to see things from a new perspective, for inspiring me to ask questions that seem to have impossibly large answers, and for giving me the tools to seek those answers out anyway.

Princeton University, for introducing me to myself and allowing me to reintroduce myself, for taking care of parts of me I hadn’t even known existed, for teaching me the value of dialogue, and for naturalizing the concept of “speak and be heard”.

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