Summary: The Color Of Water By James Mcbride

Words: 1754
Pages: 8

The Color of Water is a book written by one of its main characters, James McBride. The author writes both his autobiography and a tribute to the life of his mother, Ruth McBride. It tells two stories from two different times. One story being the lifestyle of Ruth McBride, the author’s mother, as she explains her childhood and where she came from. The other story is the lifestyle of James McBride, the author, as he explains his childhood and life. The author alternates between his own first person voice and his mother’s own words. Both James and Ruth had very hard childhoods in poverty. Throughout the book James searches for his racial identity. During his and his mother's life they both experience prejudice and racism. Both Ruth and James …show more content…
James McBride was the youngest of all his siblings. Being one of 12 children in his household, it was not an easy childhood for him. It was also hard for him because his father had died when his mother was still pregnant with him and his stepfather, who was the only male father figure in his life, died from a stroke. After his stepfather died James was very confused. He began to act careless and turned to drugs, alcohol, and crime. He talked about how he would snatch woman’s purses and how he would skip school and get high. When James as a kid was sent to Jewish neighborhoods with his siblings so that they could get the best education. As a consequence, he and his siblings suffered from prejudice of the white world because of them being often the sole black students in school. James was confused on race also. Throughout his life he is looking for racial identity. He would try and address his mother about his race and she would usually dodge the issue. He continually tried to ask about his relatives but his mother would only would mention people on his father’s side and she eventually told James that she was “dead” to her to her other family. James’s family was forced to face matters of race and identity because of the racial tensions of the 60s. One time Jame’s brother was arrested for a crime he did not commit. James at one point wished his family was all one color and became embarrassed of his mother's race. Throughout his younger years, James was really confused on his identity and who he