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UnCommon Bonds

Women Reflect on Race and Friendship


Edited By Kersha Smith and Marcella Runell Hall

UnCommon Bonds is a collection of essays written by women representing multiple identities; all uniquely addressing the impactful experiences of race, ethnicity, and friendship in the context of the United States. The essays unapologetically explore the challenges of developing and maintaining cross-racial friendships between women. A primary goal of this book is to resist simplifying cross-racial friendships. Instinctively, the editors believe that there is a unique joy and pain in these relationships that is rarely easy to summarize. The essays reflect narratives that challenge assumptions, disclose deep interpersonal struggles, and celebrate the complex sisterhood between women across racial lines.

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Afterword: Crossing (Jamila Lyiscott)


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Jamila Lyiscott

Yesterday, her skin, a border That she was not allowed to cross She toed the line and touched its seams To calculate what it might cost

Yesterday, you, a crooked glare Confined her hope with no remorse She conjured courage for shelter From the sting of your excessive force

Today Love is thicker than water And you are offended by a sisterhood Thicker than skin The audacity of Freedoms to forged itself across boundaries Meant to let no one in ← 219 | 220 →

Today Your vexation is our victory For the uncommon bonds she found When she conjured pillars out of your margins To lift her up and hold her down

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