The Color Of Water By James Mcbride

1150 Words Jul 27th, 2015 5 Pages
The novel, Color of Water, by James McBride details and reflects on racial prejudice from the perspective of two lives; the life of a Jewish mother, Ruth McBride Jordan, and then in the life of her black son, James.

Growing up in Suffolk Virginia, Ruth McBride was abused by her Orthodox Jewish rabbi father as she was forced to work very long hours in their family store. Since love was not something that was simply provided by her father, she instead finds love in the arms of a black man. In a turn of events, Ruth ends up marrying another Christian black man and has children with him. However, she hides her Jewish background from her children. In her family, marrying a black man is considered to be an unacceptable thing and due to this, they disown her. As a consequence of her hiding her Jewish background, her children face identity issues and wonder what they are. Ruth only teaches them about Christianity and all questions about Judaism are avoided. Ruth always makes sure that the main focus her children have are on their education and Christianity.

James was the seventh child of the twelve children Ruth had during the civil rights movements in the 1960’s. James’ older siblings are fascinated with the idea of black power, but James cared more about his mother’s life. Even though Ruth was a fearless Jew immigrant, she was the only white woman helping out in the New York housing projects and this was uncommon. She was a sole white woman strolling around in a black…
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