Hazel Ashwell is from Bridgecrest—better known as RICHcrest— where the cars are big, the houses are bigger, and absolutely no one looks like her because she’s black. She doesn’t even blend in with her own family.
Hazel was adopted three days after her birth. Her privileged lifestyle is all she’s ever known. It’s her normal. It’s almost as if she doesn’t know how to be black or what that even means. Her parents have been able to afford piano instructors, ballet classes, equestrian lessons, and everything else in between. Unfortunately, “How to Be Black” classes aren’t offered in Bridgecrest.
Hazel has always been confused about who she’s supposed to be. Is she supposed to act a certain way? Look a certain way? Talk a certain way? She won’t find that answer in Bridgecrest.
Even though she wouldn’t trade her lavish lifestyle or the people in it for anything, Hazel decides to enroll in an HBCU to get a crash course in black culture. The second she steps foot on campus, she realizes she has a lot to learn. Lancrey University instantly becomes her parallel universe. Class is in session.
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After spending her childhood in Georgia, growing up in Alabama, and earning a degree from the University of South Carolina, Kiara just considers herself from the south. She fits about 90 percent of the millennial stereotype and is totally responsible for killing multiple industries. She has dabbled in visual storytelling and is an award winning and Emmy nominated video producer. She continues to follow her passion of storytelling through different forms of media. Parallel University is her first novel.
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