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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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Chapter 9: Across the Abyss (Millicent R. Jackson)


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Millicent R. Jackson

“Bad news. Unfortunately, I won’t be at your writing group next Thursday,” my friend Susan said.

“Why not?” I asked.

“I’m not allowed to participate.” She sighed into the telephone.

“What are you talking about? You asked Shayla right?” I asked referring to our mutual friend who facilitated the group designed for an upcoming performance at a university.

“Of course I did. Shayla said the workshop is a space for women of color exclusively.”

“Yes, she’s right. I’m sorry I didn’t think about that when we discussed it.” I wondered why this fact hadn’t crossed my mind in a previous conversation with Susan. This particular workshop had been this way since its inception, which was the beauty of it.

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