The Color of Water

Topics: Black people, Race, White people, Racism, Human, Color / Pages: 4 (849 words) / Published: Jul 7th, 2013
Sara Knigge
The Color of Water Essay
Racial Identity The Color of Water by James McBride was a story about a young boy trying to figure out his racial identity but his mother would not talk about her past or what race she was. All James knew was that she was white living in a black power neighborhood and that fact terrified him. He thought that to grow up he had to know his racial identity but through all the trouble and hard times he went through he learned that his race did not matter. It was his education that was the most important. Ruth attitude about her race effected James through his childhood and as a young adult, she negatively affected his racial development, and Ruth eventually clears up his questions that he has been dying to get answers from. Ruth McBride’s attitude toward her own race affected her son, James McBride, as both a child and as a young adult. Ruth mainly looked down on her race because of her father. All he care about was money and the store, he did not care about his own wife or family. He also molested Ruth when she was a young girl. When James was a young boy he always questioned her about race. He wanted to know if he was black or white and he also asked what color Jesus was. James mother would not completely answer his question. She responded saying that James was a human and education was all that mattered, and that Jesus was the color of water. As a kid, James knew that his mother was white, and that terrified him. He knew that a white lady living in a black neighborhood, also with black kids, was living in danger. James really realized his mother’s danger when Ruth and James were walking home and a man came up and stole Ruth’s purse. James figured out how strong and brave or crazy his mother was when she did not fight the theft back and all she told James was that it was just a purse and it did not matter. When James grew up, he thought that Ruth was going crazy, and he didn’t respect her like he did in the past. If James

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