Although this chapter focuses on pedagogy as a form of activism, the authors met in an archive in Richmond, Virginia in 1988. Research, scholarship, and the production of knowledge have all served as a backdrop for the friendship that subsequently blossomed. By coincidence, both of us moved to the same Pennsylvania town, just blocks away from each other, in 1993. Over the years, our friendship has included conversations about new books, teaching methods, research projects, and our efforts to balance these academic and political passions with our personal lives. For both of us, these lives revolve around families with children. Each of us makes her living as an academic at an institution for higher learning in Pennsylvania. Each of us has spent numerous research hours recovering the history of slavery and the experience of enslaved people in eastern North America. As important as these similarities are, they should not obscure our view of the differences in our situations. While both of us have experienced professional pressures to publish in conventional formats, Kathy’s institution, University of Pennsylvania, requires a light teaching load and supports sabbatical leaves necessary for completing research projects destined for these conventional forms of publication. Tracey, in contrast, carries a heavy teaching load with little opportunity for a research leave. At Millersville University, publication is
also a requirement for tenure but other forms of scholarly production are increasingly recognized as legitimate, in part because of Tracey’s persistent efforts. This institutional context, as well as our collegiality and friendship, is important background for this essay, our first collaborative project to appear in print. In many ways we feel that it represents years of informal collaboration.