When I began to write I had no idea what the 12 stories would be---only an idea for the first one, "The Transmission," which would dramatize the Middle Passage. I did have a list, though, of literary forms and different viewpoints I wanted to use to aesthetically diversify the stories. (You should expect that from someone who taught creative writing for 33 years.)
So those are the inter-connecting slavery stories. If I had my druthers, and could do an assignment like this again, I'd pick the period between Emancipation and the legalizing of racial segregation ("separate but equal") in the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case, because those thirty-one years of American history (they produced people like James Weldon Johnson, boxer Jack Johnson, and W.E.B. Du Bois) have not often been dramatized, years during Reconstruction and after it when life and the possibilities for black Americans were (relatively and briefly) more fluid, and richer in possibilities before Jim Crow became law.