Both James and his mother Ruth struggled to find their cultural identities. Growing up Ruth hid

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Both James and his mother Ruth struggled to find their cultural identities. Growing up Ruth hid her past from her children; as a result, James suffered struggling to stay afloat to find his identity. It was not until James became a young adult that his mother chose to paint the true picture of her rough past, helping James accept who he is and understand where he came from.

Summarization: James McBride is the son of Ruth McBride and is only one of twelve mixed race children. McBride delves into his mother’s closed off past. Something she never allowed herself to share with any of her children. He grew up in the projects. Growing up McBride did not understand his mother; he was embarrassed, and baffled by her. It was not until he was a
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1. Background information: a. Nonfictional autobiographical tribute to James McBride’s mother Ruth McBride Jordan. b. Ethnically diverse during a time of hate and ignorance. The race and ethnic groups are black, white, Christian, and Jewish. c. The point of view goes between first and third person and rotates with each chapter. (James and Ruth) d. Ruth’s story begins in the 1920s with heavy emphasis on the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. McBride’s chronicles being in the 1960s and continue through the 1990s. The places throughout the novel are Suffolk, Virginia, New York City, Kentucky, Ohio, and Wilmington, Delaware.
2. Emotional stance: a. Reading James McBride’s novel brought on a plethora of emotions. I sometimes forget just how trying life can be for “minorities.” For Ruth I mostly felt empathy and sadness. During her childhood, the white kids were mean to her, her father molested her and showed absolutely no respect for her mother, teen pregnancy/abortion, and then she finds the courage to leave where she finds true love not once, but twice only to have that ripped away from her. Ruth’s life is one struggle after another.
b. For James I also felt empathy but I also found myself mentally willing him through the hard times while I was reading. I so badly wanted to see him succeed and not

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