The Color Of Water By James Mcbride

1727 Words7 Pages
The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to his Mother The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to his White Mother written by James McBride is a miraculous memoir about James’ and his mother’s life. He describes in detail what it was like growing up in a household with a white mother, a black father, and eleven black siblings. Biracial marriages and families were not the norm and nor was it accepted by society during that time. James encountered many misfortunes growing up and was constantly trying to figure out who he was because his family was different than other families. He felt that the only way to find out who he was by probing into his mother 's past which she refused to discuss for long period of time. She finally…show more content…
Their skin was black and hers was white. He constantly wondered why his and his siblings’ skin was a different color than their mother’s. When he asked his mother if she was white, she would just simply tell him that she was light-skinned and then she would immediately change the subject because she did not want to discuss it with him. His brothers and sisters would often tease him and told him that he was adopted because of his curiosity. James wondered if they were telling the truth because he looks nothing like his mother. He knew without a doubt that all of his brothers and sisters were different shades of brown and that his mother was white. In fact, he was pretty sure that his mother was white, but she refused to admit that she was. Since his mother denied being white, he was baffled and did not know if he was a black or white person. Because of his uncertainty, he was unsure of how he fit into society. While growing up, I did not share James’s confusion about my skin color. I was not the least bit confused about my race because my family and most of the people that surrounded me consisted of white people. Although, I was aware that people had different colors of skin, I did not question my identity and why my skin color was different from theirs.
A second example of racism and prejudice present in the novel is the fact that Tateh (Ruth’s father) hated
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