"The Color of Water". Book report on the novel by James McBride.

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Many of us battle diversity everyday, yes battle diversity. How can you battle diversity, you ask? Every time a judgement is made on a count of skin color diversity is being battled against. Why do we, as a society, have theses social barriers that must be crossed every time someone of a different race, sex, or religion tries to interact with someone else. The Color of Water is a story of hope that throws away all barriers in a time when they were the strongest and hardest to cross. In an era when is was socially unacceptable for blacks and whites to interact, the McBride/Jordans manage to raise their family. By explaining Ruth's background, the time period James was raised in, the social barriers that Ruth and her family faced, and parallels to modern times, the reader shall see that The Color of Water is a timeless classic that many generations can learn from.

Ruth was born in Poland in 1921. She became a Jewish immigrant to the United States. Ruth's family moved around the country because her father tried to capitalize on his image of a rabbi. The family was not making enough money to survive that way and decided to live in Suffolk, Virginia where they opened a general store. The store was located in a mostly black part of town which was a problem for Tateh, Ruth's father, because he was a racist. Tateh even overcharged his black customers. Ruth, on the other hand, resented her fathers racist views and began to sympathize with the blacks in her neighborhood. Being a Jew, Ruth didn't seem to associate herself much to the white people in the south and found it easier to bond with her black neighbors. Ruth understood that the Ku Klux Klan promoted a violence atmosphere arounder her neighborhood.

As Ruth became an adult she wanted to become nothing like what her father was like. She fell in love with a black man, Andrew Dennis McBride, and decided to get married. She took his last name, Ruth McBride. Ruth had eight children with Dennis. Dennis died while Ruth was pregnant with his son James. Ruth was now a widow raising eight black kids in a time of many changes.

Ruth and her family lived in Harlem together for many years. While in Harlem, Ruth wasn't given some of the privileges that she was given in the South. Ruth worked at jobs that were very hard and didn't pay well. In Harlem, Ruth only socialized with black people. The only characteristic that described Ruth that wouldn't describe a black women was her skin color. However, Ruth seemed to be at peace in a way. She had escaped her past and was trying to make a future for herself and her children.

When Ruth moved to New York her religion changed too. She converted for Judaism to Christianity. Not only did she just attend church but she became very involved with her local churches and eventually she decided to open her own church with her second husband Hunter Jordan. The reason that Ruth resented Judaism was because it was forced upon her by her father. Ruth found her connection to Christianity because she had come upon it on her own. When Ruth was separated from her family she needed some kind of relief that she found in Christianity's emphasis on forgiveness.

Many major events and movements were taking place while Ruth was trying to raise her family. It began with one man's dream which became the hope of a whole nation. Martin Luther King Jr. stood up for black rights in a time when blacks had little to no rights at all. Rosa Parks and others were being thrown in jail for little things such as not moving on the bus when sitting in the front. Blacks were being murdered and justice was not being served. Society was turning a blind eye to killings such as the killing of Emmet Till just so the whites wouldn't revolt against the government. It was almost if the government was scared of the people that they were governing. Martin Luther King gave many, many speeches all over the country to try to give hopes of a different country. A country that would give all...
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