Summary Of The Color Of Water By James Mcbride

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In McBride’s The Color of Water, James McBride the narrator tells a story of his own past and his mother, Ruth McBride’s past. Throughout the book James was conflicted with his racial identity due to being half African-American and half Jewish and the environment and society in the 1960s. On the other hand, James’s mother Ruth was also conflicted in finding her own racial identity, family and religion.
James was always confused on his own race during his upbringings. He expressed confusions on his own race towards his mother in many ways. Constantly James was questioning Ruth whether he was black or white. Ruth told James that he was neither but instead he was just a human being. Ruth often refused to answer questions that were referring to …show more content…

Her Jewish family immigrated to the United States when she was two. Soon they settle down in Suffolk, Virginia, and opened a store which was located in a surrounding of black people. Ruth lived with her mother, father, older brother and younger sister. Ruth’s father was a racist, selfish, and greedy man. He also hated and discriminated blacks, and sexually abused Ruth. She was sick of her fathers prejudices towards black people. Ruth was conflicted in finding her own racial identity, race, and religion. Being a Jew, Ruth felt excluded from the white world. Ruth could relate herself to blacks because of all the injustices toward them. Eventually Ruth began to sympathized black people. She started dating black guys and ended up marrying a black man. During the 1900s, interracial marriages were unacceptable but to Ruth marriage had nothing to do with race. “See, a marriage needs love. And God. And a little money. That’s all. The rest you can deal with. Its not about black or white”(233). Marrying a black man could have gotten Ruth killed by her father but it did not stop her. She knew she loved that man and he was her happiness. After they got married, they lived happily in Harlem for years with their children. Being surrounded by black people in Harlem, Ruth practically lived life as a black woman. Soon Ruth became a Christian and opened her own church with Dennis. Ruth was a Judaism because her parents had forced her into it. Christianity is emphasis on forgiveness, that was the relief Ruth needed due to the guilt she felt for leaving her ill mother and younger sister behind. Also being a Christian transformed her perspective of

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