||Don Wycliff, left, and David Krashna, editors of "Black Domers: Seventy years at Notre Dame," visit Father Theodore Hesburgh, CSC, in his office at the Hesburgh Library on the campus.
Oakland judge edits 'Black Domers' book
The roots of David Krashna's book can be traced to "the Irish nuns, priests and lay teachers at St. Paul's Orphanage in Pittsburgh who infected me for life with the love of Notre Dame."
Krashna's poignant essay is one of 70 he and co-editor Don Wycliff collected and published in "Black Domers: 70 Years at Notre Dame." Black Domers are African American alumni of Notre Dame.
It's a book, Krashna, who serves as an Alameda County Superior Court judge, has thought about writing since his graduation from the university in 1971. But after he and Wycliff, a member of the Notre Dame Class of '69, met for dinner in Oakland a year ago, the long-held dream became a reality.
In the world of publishing, it is nothing short of a miracle. After soliciting nominations for people to profile for the book, they narrowed the field to 70. Some have passed away; writers were selected to tell their stories. The living graduates provided essays that are moving and inspirational, providing intimate insight into their times.
Some of the stories are new to Krashna as well. When asked what essays surprised him, he said that the story told by his friend, John Brooks-Banks, Class of '72, was "stunning."
Brooks-Banks' story takes place on a bus ride and concert in Mississippi with the Notre Dame Glee Club. "He never told me that story," Krashna said.
The first Black Domer is Frazier l. Thompson, Class of 1947. The book divides the chapters into decades: The most recent story is told by Denise Umubyeyi, Class of 2014, whose family escaped from Rwanda in 1994.
There are stories of racism met with defiance. If a coach was told a black player could not stay at a hotel with a team, for example, the whole team moved. There are many stories of black students recruiting more black students. There are stories of the work that remains to be done. Krashna served as student body president at Notre Dame; he remains the only African American to serve in that capacity.
The forward to the book was written by Father Theodore Hesburgh, CSC, longtime president of the University of Notre Dame.
Wycliff and Krashna, who is a parishioner at St. Benedict Church in Oakland, are donating all profits from the sale of the book to the endowed Notre Dame Frazier L. Thompson Scholarship Fund.
Wycliff and Krashna will be joined by essayist Lauran Williamson Tuck, Class of 2006, at a book-signing event at The Cathedral Shop, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland at 7 p.m. Oct. 2. She is the co-founder with her husband, Justin Tuck, now of the Oakland Raiders, of the R.U.S.H. to Literacy Foundation.
The book, "Black Domers: Seventy Years at Notre Dame," is available at the shop for $24.95. Call the Cathedral Shop at 510-496-7280 to order a copy or for additional information.
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