Analysis Of The Color Of Water By James Mcbride

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Within The Color of Water, published in 1995, James McBride discusses how the communities in which he grows up in affects the way he views his racial identity. In multiple instances within his memoir, James recalls how the issues between white and black people influence his relationship with his mother, Ruth. This same issue affected his mother, allowing for her to realize how important it is to protect all twelve of her kids in order for them to succeed in the United States. From an early age James questions his mother about race, and while her answers may seem irrelevant, he learns that Ruth is only setting them up for success in a very racially orientated country. James McBride grows up in a racially segregated New York City. Ruth, his white mother, raises them in a small house in a majority black neighborhood. Ruth understands that being a white mother to black children in the neighborhood could cause trouble, leading her to avoid socializing with other neighbors and parents of her children’s friends. James begins to question his mothers actions of not socializing with the neighbors in which she replies that private life should remain private, and that he should hang out with his siblings instead of leaving the house. This protects her children from the many negative vibes about white people. In one instance, James asks his mother “How come you don’t look like me” in which she replies not to worry about it and focus on his education, a response that she tended to

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