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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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Advance praise for UnCommon Bonds


“At a time in history where hate, violence, and division have returned us, full speed, to pre–Civil Rights America, along comes this remarkable and bridge-building anthology, UnCommon Bonds. From the Women’s March to the #MeToo movement, from Barack Obama to Donald Trump, from Black Lives Matter to intersectionality, this is a collection of unapologetically free writings from some of the most visionary leaders and thinkers in the world today. Read them, hear them, feel them, and be prepared to follow them, too, because their hope and challenges are the path to our wokeness, and our salvation.”

Kevin Powell, author of The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey to Manhood

“UnCommon Bonds is a brave, thoughtful, complicated and honest examination of the challenges and rewards of building and sustaining authentic cross-race friendships. The book examines the issue in a range of creative and engaging ways—through autobiographical narratives, essays, dialogues, letters and critical social analysis linked to personal experience. The result is a provocative and urgent exploration of why this effort can be so hard, as well as a testament to how life affirming and essential cross-race relationships can be. Unlike other books that focus only on cross-race alliances between women of color and white women, this book also looks at the challenges and opportunities in the bonds created among women of color from diverse racial groups. Further, it attends to the intersections of class, gender, generation, transnational location and other aspects of...

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