The Color of Water Thematic Essay

Words: 1147
Pages: 5

In The Color of Water, author James McBride writes both his autobiography and a tribute to the life of his mother, Ruth McBride. In the memoirs of the author’s mother and of himself, they constantly face discrimination from their race in certain neighborhoods and of their religious beliefs. The trials and tribulations faced by these two characters have taught readers universally that everyone faces difficulties in life, but they can all be surmounted.
Whenever Ruth or James McBride face any forms of racism, especially for being related to each other, having different skin colors, they can always look to religion to aid them through these tough times. It appears so that in the book, religion knows no race, and therefore is very accepting
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Later on in the book, when the family of Ruth McBride and her children move to Delaware, James McBride becomes increasingly involved with jazz. So much so that he was selected to travel to Europe with the American Youth Jazz Band. But since it wasn’t free, he had to pay for it. Fortunately, he was able to take a trip to Europe, sponsored by a white couple named the Dawsons. In exchange, he had to work on their estate on weekends and during the summer. He eventually was fired, but still able to go to Europe. One morning a couple of years later from that event, when he was Oberlin College, he received a letter that had Ms. Dawson say her husband had died suddenly of cancer. Later that day, James McBride was standing on the street with a group of black students, and one of them basically said that white people are all rich, and also have no problems. He completely agreed with the student, but felt terrible lying about that. This gives the entire event a sense of irony, because any comments that the black student made about white people being rich, therefore not having any problems whatsoever were be directly contradicted from the folded letter which held “the heartbroken words of an old white lady who had always gone out of her way to help me—and many others like me.” All of this defends the thesis, because this event demonstrates how anyone, no matter their class or