The Color of Water
James McBride, the author of this memoir, had always questioned his mother about the difference between his race and his mother’s when he was little. He was always wondering why his mother’s skin color was different than the other mothers. When he asked his mother, “Am I black or white?” she responded, “You’re a human being. Educate yourself or you’ll be nobody.” Then one day he asked his mother, “What color is God’s spirit?” And she answered, “It doesn’t have a color. God is the color of water. Water doesn’t have a color.” I love this quote, because it is so spiritual and its meaning is so true. Ruth was saying that God is not black or white and thus he loves all races equally. Race doesn’t make people worthy of God's grace. Although James did not understand at that time, he does now. He understands why his mother put him and his siblings in white schools, not only because they are the best, but because white people shouldn’t be the only ones able to have a great education. Through his mother, he learned that color does not matter especially because everyone is equally God’s children.
We are all God’s children. Even though we are all different in our own way and have different colored skin, that doesn’t matter. James McBride learned that through the powerful words of his mother, Ruth McBride Jordan. Ruth learned that during the course of her life and did not follow her father’s example in being prejudice against black people. Like she said, God is the color of water. He is neither black nor white, but at the same time, he is both. The Color of Water is a black man’s tribute to his white mother, because of the amazing lessons she taught him through first-hand experiences from her life.