I incurred two debts to my editor, Eric Lundgren, in writing this essay. First, he was instrumental to bringing this project to fruition, and for that I am grateful; and, second, because of Eric’s love of music, and jazz in particular, I learned a great deal about Miles Davis, and that was eye-opening in the most enjoyable way.
I am fortunate that Orin Starn and David Andrews, two of the finest minds in sports studies, number among my friends. Orin encouraged me from the start; David provided a generous reading.
Like many, I have long admired Fredric Jameson. His essay “An American Utopia” is central to my thinking in Only a Black Athlete Can Save Us Now. I remain, these many years later, honored to have worked with Fred in the Literature Program between 2000 and 2008. Fred is, for me, the definitive example of an intellectual.
Finally, my friend Ian Balfour is a remarkable thinker. I swear, no one knows more about just about everything than Ian. And I do mean everything. From the Pet Shop Boys to David Hume. No one is possessed of a sharper wit. Few are more generous. This one’s for you, Professor Balfour.
—GRANT FARRED. Ithaca, 2020–21