The Color Of Water By James Mcbride And The Secret Life Of Bees By Sue Monk Kidd
1156 WordsSep 26, 20175 Pages
In the 1960s, America struggled with segregation between whites and blacks. People of darker skin tones were separated from those who had lighter tones. There were separate bathrooms, restaurants, and stores that segregated the two races. Black people were stripped of common privileges because of the way they appeared, such as voting and seating areas on public transportation vehicles. It became a lifestyle to most people as it was rare anyone would integrate with the other race. If integration did occur, it was frowned upon by the community. Examples of integration occur in the two novels The Color of Water by James McBride and The Secret Life of Bees written by Sue Monk Kidd. Each book shares its own story of integration during the…show more content…
They began to question their lives and surroundings. McBride writes, “‘Does he like black or white people better?’ ‘He loves all people. He’s a spirit.’ ‘What’s a spirit?’ ‘A spirit’s a spirit.’ ‘What color is God’s spirit?’ ‘It doesn’t have a color,’ she said. ‘God is the color of water. Water doesn’t have a color,’” (McBride 50). Ruth raised her children to believe that everyone is equal and that it does not matter what your skin looks like. This conversation between mother and son demonstrates her desire for integration. She taught her kids that God loves them and people and spirits shouldn’t be categorized by appearance or skin color. The example she gives explaining the water lets the reader understand her thoughts about segregation and how it shouldn’t matter. This allowed them to build a strong mindset that wasn’t affected by discrimination. Because of the strength in the McBride Jordan family, The Color of Water portrayed the topic well in the aspect of family integration, but also of community.
The family’s community also displayed integration between the black and white races. Ruth had married two black men in her life who had both passed away unexpectedly and left her to raise the family. Her first husband, Andrew McBride, was a reverend. At the time, Ruth had converted over to Christianity from her Jewish childhood past. She had believed in Christianity and had a strong passion for God. So, Ruth and Rev. McBride had