In its division into four sections, this volume captures four areas in which John R. Rickford has played a pivotal role in shaping and advancing linguistic scholarship. His work in contact linguistics provides the foundation for what he has done—and continues to do—in the other areas. Rickford’s attention to the rights of individuals and communities, to the educational implications of linguistic discrimination, and to stylistic variation—all three of these areas of his research can be seen as having evolved out of his particular attention to language contact, that is, his attention to the properties, history, and standing of varieties stigmatized by the mainstream.