What is the color of water about

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what is the color of water about

The Color of Water: A Black Mans Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride

Touches readers of all colors as a vivid portrait of growing up, a haunting meditation on race and identity, and a lyrical valentine to a mother from her son.

Who is Ruth McBride Jordan? A self-declared light-skinned woman evasive about her ethnicity, yet steadfast in her love for her twelve black children. James McBride, journalist, musician and son, explores his mothers past, as well as his own upbringing and heritage, in a poignant and powerful debut, The Color Of Water: A Black Mans Tribute to His White Mother.

The son of a black minister and a woman who would not admit she was white, James McBride grew up in orchestrated chaos with his eleven siblings in the poor, all-black projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn. Mommy, a fiercely protective woman with dark eyes full of pep and fire, herded her brood to Manhattans free cultural events, sent them off on buses to the best (and mainly Jewish) schools, demanded good grades and commanded respect. As a young man, McBride saw his mother as a source of embarrassment, worry, and confusion--and reached thirty before he began to discover the truth about her early life and long-buried pain.

In The Color of Water, McBride retraces his mothers footsteps and, through her searing and spirited voice, recreates her remarkable story. The daughter of a failed itinerant Orthodox rabbi, she was born Rachel Shilsky (actually Ruchel Dwara Zylska) in Poland on April 1, 1921. Fleeing pogroms, her family emigrated to America and ultimately settled in Suffolk, Virginia, a small town where anti-Semitism and racial tensions ran high. With candor and immediacy, Ruth describes her parents loveless marriage; her fragile, handicapped mother; her cruel, sexually-abusive father; and the rest of the family and life she abandoned.

At seventeen, after fleeing Virginia and settling in New York City, Ruth married a black minister and founded the all-black New Brown Memorial Baptist Church in her Red Hook living room. God is the color of water, Ruth McBride taught her children, firmly convinced that lifes blessings and lifes values transcend race. Twice widowed, and continually confronting overwhelming adversity and racism, Ruths determination, drive and discipline saw her dozen children through college--and most through graduate school. At age 65, she herself received a degree in social work from Temple University.

Interspersed throughout his mothers compelling narrative, McBride shares candid recollections of his own experiences as a mixed-race child of poverty, his flirtations with drugs and violence, and his eventual self-realization and professional success. The Color of Water touches readers of all colors as a vivid portrait of growing up, a haunting meditation on race and identity, and a lyrical valentine to a mother from her son.
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Published 12.12.2018

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The color of water varies with the ambient conditions in which that water is present.
James McBride

The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother

The chapters alternate between James McBride's descriptions of his early life and first-person accounts of his mother Ruth's life, mostly taking place before her son was born. McBride depicts the conflicting emotions that he endured as he struggled to discover who he truly was, as his mother narrates the hardships that she had to overcome as a white, Jewish woman who chose to marry a black man in James' childhood was spent in a chaotic household of twelve children who had neither the time nor the outlet to ponder questions of race and identity. Ruth did not want to discuss the painful details of her early family life when her abusive father Tateh lorded over her sweet-tempered and meek mother Mameh. Ruth had cut all ties with her Jewish family, as they had essentially disowned her when she married James' father. After arriving in the United States when she was two years old, Ruth spent her early childhood traveling around the country with her family as her father sought employment as a rabbi. Tateh eventually gave up hope of making a living as a rabbi.

Rate this book. Buy This Book. Touches readers of all colors as a vivid portrait of growing up, a haunting meditation on race and identity, and a lyrical valentine to a mother from her son. Who is Ruth McBride Jordan? A self-declared "light-skinned" woman evasive about her ethnicity, yet steadfast in her love for her twelve black children.

Ruth came to America when she was a young girl in a family of Polish Jewish immigrants. James's childhood was spent in a chaotic household of twelve children who had neither the time nor the outlet to ponder questions of race and identity. Ruth did not want to discuss the painful details of her early family life, when her abusive father Tateh lorded over her sweet-tempered and meek mother Mameh. Ruth had cut all ties with her Jewish family. After arriving in the United States when she was two years old, Ruth spent her early childhood traveling around the country with her family as her father sought employment as a rabbi. Tateh eventually gave up hope of making a living as a rabbi. He settled the family in Suffolk, Virginia, and opened a store in the mostly black section of town, where he overcharged his customers and expressed racist opinions.

The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, is the autobiography and memoir of James McBride first published in ; it is also a tribute to.
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  1. The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother: James McBride: Bloomsbury Paperbacks

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