Racial/cultural boundries do exist, if only in a person’s fear of reaching out to another person rather than on a wide societal level. I can relate to your interest and your uncertainty, Lori. I grew up in very white-Christian Helena, Mont. Finding myself in multi-ethnic situations, I’ve wanted to reach out into the non-white world and establish friends from other backgrounds. I had several frustrating experiences trying to get to know folks within groups of Korean and Taiwanese students and finding no way to connect with them as a group. They have so much shared experience that I do not. Even as individuals, I later realized that my interest in their different understanding of the world overode seeing them as individuals. So what is the juncture between personality and culture? I don’t know, and I left the situation fealing guilty, like I had broken some P.C. rules, which was unfortunate. My advice to you is to honor your interest in ‘the’ black American experience, and pursue it, but seperate it from the desire to make new friends. As other folks have said here, a friendship develops as a multifaceted, organic thing.