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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 15: Ride Or Die: Relationships Beyond Constructs (JLove Calderón)


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Relationships Beyond Constructs

JLove Calderón

I’m so damn blessed!

My life is filled with the most magnificent tribe of women. I would not be alive and well today were it not for the women in my life, I can say that for sure! Many of my deepest, most important and profound friendships are with women of color.

The oft-hinted (and some come right out and ask it!) question people ask me is how and why do you have so many women of color friends?

Hmmmm. Well. There are many factors to it. But they are definitely not superexciting or earth shattering. In fact, they are plain and ordinary life things. BUT, all together they inform my cultural upbringing in a profound way.

Growing up in Denver, Colorado, I lived in a racially diverse neighborhood and attended multiracial schools. My high school was in a predominately African American and Latino neighborhood.

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