The Black Rose

by Kevin Callahan

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The Black Rose examines the lives of three seemingly different people – a white father and his daughter and a black male – during summer basketball games and their drinking together afterwards.

These seemingly meaningless pick-up games and their bellying-up to the bar while still dripping in sweat are filled with racial tension, personal discovery and inter-generational friction that spark spiritual growth.

The idiosyncratic characters – Byrd, Pete and Andie – share a sad combination of disappointment in their current circumstances and resignation of a future that falls short of their dreams and aspirations. They are what America has become.
The theme of the novel is about acceptance and non-acceptance of race, religion and sexuality in America over the last five decades. The story is set in real-life places around Sea Isle City and Avalon, NJ under the backdrop of 50-year-old childhood friends still playing pick-up basketball games down "at the courts" and how they are now joined by their 18-year-old sons - and the main character's daughter – who are turning out just like them.

The fictional characters are from the Philadelphia suburbs and attended Ursinus College, where their kids are going. Real life former players at Aronimink swim club like Eddie Hastings and Tom Ingelsby along with their great Villanova team are used as reference characters.

The Black Rose offers how to better understand race differences in America by simple one-on-one interaction.  By portraying seemingly different characters - just like black and white people in America - it shows how a black young man, Nate, and an old white man, Pete, can not only coexist, but grow to love each other and that better days can be ahead through hope and a Christian connection to the cross.

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The Black Rose

Kevin Callahan
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