Color of Water

972 Words Sep 23rd, 2013 4 Pages
The Color of Water: A Black Man 's Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride

Discussion questions

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. Why was she reluctant to tell her children about her background? How has your knowledge—or lack thereof—about your family background shaped your own self-image?

Do you get a sense of life under the old Jewish traditions? How does that compare to the Chinese way of life in Girl in Translation?

As a child and teenager Rachel (Ruth’s Jewish name) is intensely lonely, but she does connect with one friend in high school. How does that relationship influence her?

Why did Rachel feel she had
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Would the world be better off if everyone was the same?

Is it a benefit or burden to be mixed race?

What factors might help break racial barriers? What exacerbates them? Do you think there will ever be a time that is colorblind? Is such a thing desirable?

Have you ever felt like a minority? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this status?

Do you think it would be possible to achieve what Ruth McBride Jordan achieved in today 's society?

About the author

Born in 1957, James McBride is a journalist and musician. In addition to his bestselling memoir The Color of Water, he has published the novel Miracle at St. Anna (2002) drawing on the history of the overwhelmingly African American 92nd Infantry Division in the Italian campaign of World War II from mid-1944 to April 1945. The book was adapted into a movie of the same name, directed by Spike Lee (2008). In 2005, he published the first volume of The Process, a CD-based documentary about life as lived by low-profile jazz musicians. His novel Song Yet Sung features the notorious criminal Patty Cannon as a villain in his novel. He is currently a Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at New York University.
He plays tenor saxophone with the Rock Bottom Remainders, a rock band made up of writers including Amy Tan, Mitch Albom, Stephen King, Dave Barry, and Ridley Pearson, and has written songs for Anita Baker, Grover Washington
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