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Sweet Burden of Crossing details the story of Chris and Rikki, two Midwestern college students in the 1980s who form a deep bond through their shared journey of father loss. Though they grew up just 40 miles apart in Indiana, their lives could not have been more different. Chris came from the quiet town of LaPorte, while Rikki was raised by foster parents in Gary, an industrial city in decline. The novel follows the young women as they explore their identities and the intergenerational trauma challenging their lives. Wrapped in the rich dynamics of race, Sweet Burden of Crossing highlights how Chris, the white narrator, grapples with her father's early death during the Civil Rights Movement and awakens to the lived experiences of Blacks in the United States. It surfaces many thresholds that remain relevant today as we broaden our perspectives and learn to move beyond our comfort zone. As Chris and Rikki care for one another, they learn that every moment offers a sweet burden, some type of heart lesson and the gift it brings. Sweet Burden of Crossing, in its fictional portrayal of the bumps and joys of cross-racial friendships, offers a model for exploring our feelings about race and breaking down barriers of injustice. The book includes questions for self-inquiry and group dialogue, with an eye to sparking honest conversations and building resilient individuals, friendships, and communities.

278 pages

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