Pictured are just a few of the people that helped make this book possible.
This book was a DIY labor of love, and in a lot of ways it feels like my baby. I feel very proud that I raised all the money for this book online by myself. I had no grants, no publisher, and no book deal.
On the other hand, making this book happen was very much a collective effort. My co-editors Jessica Glennon-Zukoff and Terra Mikalson spent countless hours pouring over the transcripts, standardizing the style (probably the biggest chunk of work), trimming the fat, adjusting the punctuation, and generally cleaning the interview text to make it super easy to read and as clear as possible. Words don’t often tumble out of our mouths as articulately as we would put them on the page, but thanks to Terra and Jessica’s hard work, you’d never know these pearls of wisdom didn’t arrive from the author’s mouths perfectly polished.
My mom is another person I owe huge thanks to on this project. I was unemployed and looking for work while I worked on the book, but it look me two years to find a job. If my mom hadn’t been supporting me financially while I worked on this book, there is no way it would be done by now. For me working on this book was almost a full-time job for almost a year. Now that I am employed, I have way less time to work on my art/journalism. I would love to do a volume two eventually, but I’ll need a lot more time and/or money than I have currently. I am extremely grateful to my mom for covering my living expenses so I could focus on developing this important body of work.
Nina Malaya of Biyuti Publishing is the only person that worked on this project that did not get thanked in the acknowledgements page. This is because she wasn’t involved until the very end, but she came in at theI had an 11th hour formatting crisis and she swooped in to save me. Thank god for Nina Malaya and the incredible work she does.
This was supposed to be a reflection on the process of putting together the book, but instead it is turning into more of a Grammy speech. I’d also like to thank all the transcribers, especially Gunjan Chopra, Weily Lang, and Amirah Mizrahi. I’d like to thank all of the artists for trusting me with their stories. I’d like to thank Nico Vitti and Tali Weinberg for their help with graphic design, Channing Kennedy and Micia Mosely for giving me jobs and advice. I’d like the thank everyone that told me my work was valuable and important for giving me the strength to keep going when things got tough.
I am probably forgetting hella people, but it is time for me to go to bed. I’ll post real reflections (and not just thank yous) soon. <3 <3 <3
All photos by Pendarvis Harshaw.