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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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This project was indeed a labor of love, through all of the seasons, and the ups and downs of life. A huge thank you to Shirley R. Steinberg for believing in this book right from its inception and to the whole team at Peter Lang, including Patty Mulrane and our production editor, Janell Harris. Thank you to all of the contributors who shared their stories, accepted our feedback with loving kindness, and stayed with us as the project came to life. Thank you to Sonia Nieto for penning a beautiful foreword to the book and for being so authentic in every way. Thank you to all of our colleagues who offered advance praise for UnCommon Bonds; your support and belief in this project are above and beyond what we could have hoped for.

Big thanks to Christy Herbes for bringing to life the cover design. A special thanks to April Graham for serving as our beloved intern. Your passion and dedication to the project was a godsend. Thanks to April Silver for believing in us and assisting with the press release and sharing our project with the world. Thank you, Loryn Engelbrecht, for co-creating a beautiful web presence.

Thank you to our colleagues at Mount Holyoke, NYU, and CUNY and in particular Annette, Alicia, Beth, Brenda, Elena, Erin, Karen, Latrina, Michelle, Monroe, Leah, and Rachel. ← ix | x →

To all our sister friends in Amherst, Aurora, Brooklyn, Chicago, and Ocean City, especially Allana,...

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