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Gratitude

In the 1998 book, The Complete Guide to African-American Baby Names, the author thanks all the people who completed the African-American names questionnaire, shared their names, and told the stories behind their names. They generously opened the windows to their lives, wrote notes of encouragement, and made an extra effort to gather names for the book by distributing the questionnaire.

Special thanks

In the 1998 book, The Complete Guide to African-American Baby Names, the author extends special thanks to Sabirah Char Bah; Dr. Clinita A. Ford, National Student Retention Conference; Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University’s Afro-American Studies Department; Ronald Hampton, National Black Police Association; Peter Hoppmann and his students at JHS 258 in Brooklyn, New York; Dr. James Matory, Harvard University’s Afro-American Studies Department; E. Ethelbert Miller, Howard University’s African American Resource Center; Dr. Sekazi Kauze Mtingwa, North Carolina A&T University and National Society of Black Physicists; Deborah L. Parker; Ameen Abdul Raschid; Dr. Vincent Rogers, University of Iowa and National Society of Black Physicists; and John Craig Walker. She also expresses gratitude for the Internet and the cyber-generosity of Henry Robert Burke who researches pioneer African Americans and writes a newspaper column, “Window to the Past,” for the Marietta Times in Ohio.

Thanks for others' works

In the 1998 book, The Complete Guide to African-American Baby Names, the author expresses gratitude for the efforts of historians, writers, and compilers of information who have gone before her and whose works she explored for context and content and also to the following institutions: the St. Mary’s County (Maryland) Library; the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, Washington, D.C.; the Eastern Loudoun (Virginia) Regional Library, whose staff trusted the author to check out reference books each day at closing to return the next morning at opening—a practice that enabled her to collect much of the historical information; the Town of Hull (Massachusetts) Public Library; the Methodist Archives of Drew University, Madison, New Jersey; the Museum of African-American History in Boston; and the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum in Philadelphia.

Thanks to those in the trenches

In the 1998 book, The Complete Guide to African-American Baby Names, the author extends thanks to those who were in the trenches with her: Deborah Brody, senior editor at Dutton Signet, for her compassion during a family emergency that took the author away from the book and the deadline; Jennifer Moore, associate editor at Dutton Signet, who helped the author bear the pain of cutting material; the author's agent, Nina Graybill, Esq., whose incessant urging spawned the proposal to create the book; and members of Washington Independent Writer’s African-American Interests Group for their acceptance, support, criticism, and friendship.

Thanks to family

In the 1998 book, The Complete Guide to African-American Baby Names, the author thanks her husband, Paul E. Keister, who created specialized databases and reports and designed and managed her web page for collecting names; Dr. Pamela W. Roblyer, her sister and coconspirator in words, who long ago shared sleepless summer nights playing the name game; and her children, who reveled in the transformation of their given names into love names—Melinda Sue “Mindi” Crank Stephens (Melinda Suzannah Maria Lizette), Jennifer Leigh Crank Potts (Jenny Wren aka Ms. Wren), and Stewart Allen Crank, Jr. (Stewart Alonzo Chichester Miguel).

Thanks to those who nurtured and shaped

In the 1998 book, The Complete Guide to African-American Baby Names, the author expresses gratitude for those who helped prepare her for the writing of this book: the late Mrs. Louise Nicklin and the late Reverend Carlton M. Harris, who nurtured her young faith and initiated her in the search for a faith-filled, compassionate life; Dr. James Paine, Drew University, who in the early sixties opened her mind to the intrinsic worth of each human life; Chester A. Higgins and the students in his magazine writing class at Howard University, who in the mid-seventies gave soul food to “whitie”; and the Reverend Peter Storey, the Methodist Church of South Africa, who in the late eighties opened her eyes and heart to the land and people of Africa.

Thanks to those who sent "gifts."

In the 1998 book, The Complete Guide to African-American Baby Names, the author offers thanks to those who sent “gifts” in the form of notes, letters, and e-mails.

From Maurice Montruvilla Gray, Jr.

“Knowing the meaning and the history behind my name gives me more of a foundation and cause to be proud of my lineage. I intend to pass this name on when I produce children some day.”

From Nganga Akinkugbe Oduwole Karade

“I really appreciate this opportunity to share a sacred part of myself with you. It is my prayer that through it people will come to know a small portion of the beauty that Mother Africa gave to the world.”

From Della Louise Rogers

“I think it’s really great that this book is being compiled.... We have a multitude of beautiful and unique names.... May God bless you.”

From Ameen Abdul Raschid

“In closing, I say As-salaam Alaikum, which means 'may God’s peace be with you.' ”