While growing up, James McBride never knew where his mother had come from. When he asked her if she was white, she simply replied that she was “light-skinned”, triggering a long-standing confusion about his own racial identity. As an adult, McBride offers the reader his story by alternating between his mother’s voice and his own. That’s one of the great things about this book. The reader gets the insights on both characters and what exactly makes them who they are. Ruth McBride was a Jewish immigrant to the United States. After traveling around the country with her family, they settled down in Suffolk, Virginia and opened a general store, which they lived above. This general store was located in a predominately black part of town. As a Jew, she felt as though she could relate to the hardships of the black people near her. Especially since during these times, she realized that the Ku Klux Klan and the white population in general gave off a tense and violent vibe. In her adult life, she married a black man, Andrew Dennis McBride, whom she had eight children with. The family lived in Harlem, New York for years and she worked at low-end jobs. She found herself socializing with black people, and living the life of a black woman. After moving away from her family, Ruth needed a stress-reliever and converted to Christianity, which is she found her sense of relief and the power of forgiveness. After Andrew passed, she remarried to Hunter Jordan, who fathered four of her now twelve children. Hunter died of a stroke, which lead to her family’s grieving and terribly mourning Hunter’s death. Ruth is a tough, big-hearted character. She loves her children dearly but she refuses to any questions about her past and feed into their curiosity, especially James, son of Andrew. Ruth is at times reluctant to bring up her painful past which is why she chooses to avoid it. Following her second husband’s death, Ruth began the habit of riding her bicycle through the
In The Color of Water by James McBride, we are taught through the eyes of a black man and his white mother that color shouldn’t matter. Although Ruth McBride Jordan had grown up as a Jew and had a father who disliked Jews very much, she was never prejudice against them and learned that she fit into the black world better than the white world. When she married a black man, she accepted Christ into her life and told her children, “God is the color of water.” She taught her kids that color didn’t….
filled with fear, embarrassment, frustration, and isolation. Many of James 's adult years were filled with even larger problems concerning race and his own identity, he later solved the mystery of his identity through the writing of the book, The Color of Water, where James 's mother unrevealed their family 's history.
As a child, James had always questioned his mother about her race, doing so would uncover his identity, but had never received a straight forward answer. At one point during his childhood….
answers by experiencing different stages in life until we find our true self? Not knowing why you and your mother look so different can affect one’s sense of identity like it happened to James McBride. This is why throughout his autobiography The Color of Water, he concludes that in order to find his true identity he needs to learn about his mother’s past.
James McBride was born to a white mom and a black dad. He grew up with his mom, Ruth, living in a neighborhood where she was seen as the strange….
Some children have difficulties accepting their race. In “The Color of Water” written by James McBride covers the story of a biracial man that is trying to find out more about his white mother. Throughout the book James McBride discusses how racism and acceptance from people can be difficult. In the text “The Color of Water”, racial tensions has had an effect on James mother Ruth’s along with James and other individuals who have dealt with being biracial while looking to being accepted in their….
The Color of Water Essay
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….
The Color of Water Prompt #2
The narrator in The Color of Water changes back and forth throughout the novel between the point of views of Ruth and her son James McBride. This writing style that he uses helps you better understand how Ruth grew up and how she was raised compared to how she raised James. They also dealt with a lot of the same personal issues. They both grew up in completely different times and places but they both still were confronted with a lot of the same daily struggles. Some….
February 14, 2012
The Color of Water Reflective Writing 1
Throughout my reading of this prolific non-fiction novel, one thing that seems to keep appearing frequently in my reading is the burden of secrets and their effects, more specifically with Ruth and her Jewish family. Ruth’s family was kept a secret for the majority of her own children’s adolescent years. Her desire to never speak of the relatives that claimed her “dead” seemed to haunt….
The Color of Water
Discuss Ruth McBride's refusal to reveal her past and how that influenced her children's sense of themselves and their place in the world. How has your knowledge—or lack thereof—about your family background shaped your own self-image?
The McBride children's struggle with their identities led each to his or her own "revolution." Is it also possible that that same struggle led them to define themselves through professional achievement?
Several of the McBride….
1. In chapter one, Ruth begins her story by telling James she is dead. Ruth was born Ruchel Dwajra Zylsky on April 1, 1921. She was born in Poland and her family immigrated to America. Her family settled down in a small town in Virginia. In America, she changed her name to Rachel Deborah Shilsky. Her father's name was Fishel Shilsky and he was an Orthodox rabbi.
2. When Rachel states that she is dead, she is figuratively speaking. She talks about Jewish laws of contracts and there are never marriages….
“The Color of the Water” which rested on the New York Times bestseller list for two years was written by James McBride who is an accomplished author, musician and screenwriter. “Miracle at St. Anna” (2004), “Song Yet Sung” (2009) and “The Good Lord Bird” (2013) are the other books he wrote. He has also worked a former staff writer for The Boston Globe, People Magazine and The Washington Post. His work has appeared in Essence, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times. McBride is a native New Yorker and….