DOC ✓ READER The Color of Water A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother FREE ✓ JAMESMCBRIDE

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The Color of Water A Black Man's Tribute to His White MotherTouches 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 sonWho 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 mother's past as well as his own upbringing and heritage in a poignant and powerful debut The Color Of Water A Black Man's 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 Manhattan's free cultural events sent them off on buses to the best and mainly Jewish schools demanded good grades an Such a gem to me McBride is a black journalist novelist and jazz musician who recognizes what a wonder his mother Ruth was when she raised him and 11 siblings and gets her to open up about her secretive past The book is lyrical and tender tough and heartbreaking and suffused with tales of courage balanced with humor McBride alternates skillfully between Ruth talking about her early history and his own perspective from the inside of the family she nurtured in Brooklyn and ueens in the turbulent 60’s James struggles to find a path to his black identity taking a short tour of juvenile delinuency He comes to understand his grounding in how his mother never saw things in black and white When asked by her children about how it is she is not black she just deflects the uestion by saying she is light skinned and nagging them to get back to their education Somehow the values she upheld was an anchor that contributed to all 12 kids getting a college education and most advanced degrees When McBride as an adult gets her to submit to taped interviews her marvelous voice finally comes through about her hidden past as a Polish Jew with a tough upbringing I’m deadYou want me to talk about my family and here I have been dead to them for fifty years Leave me alone Don’t bother me They don’t want no parts of me I don’t want no parts of them Hurry up and get the interview over with I want to watch Dallas I was born an Orthodox Jew on April 1 1921 April Fool’s Day in Poland I don’t remember the name of the town where I was born but I do remember my Jewish name Ruchel Dwajra Zylska My parents got rid of that name when we came to America and changed it to Rachel Deborah Shilsky and I got rid of that name when I was nineteen and never used it again after I left Virginia for good in 1941 Rachel Shilsky is dead as far as I am concerned She had to die for me the rest of me to liveFrom that introduction you can see the trove of heritage McBride's uest for roots gets into through his mother’s story Her father was an itinerant rabbi who came to run a store for a black neighborhood in rural Virginia in the segregated south His brutality toward her mother and her was one reason Ruth ran away to Harlem; the other was that she had fallen in love at 15 with a black boy and was shunted to New York for family help with an abortion Ruth finds a niche in the black community after being shunned by aunts and uncles She gets a job at the Apollo Theater and enjoys the music scene She ends up marrying a kind hearted man Andrew McBride and having 8 kids with him including James as the last born after he died His future stepfather Dennis came to their aid in the aftermath of the tragedy and soon charms her into marriage He came from a home where kindness was a way of life I wanted to be in this kind of family I was proud to join it and they were happy to have meThe welcoming feeling she got from Dennis’ mother in North Carolina “God bless you Ruth because you’re our daughter now Marry that man” is consistent with the community she felt with blacks accounting for why James had a white mother That’s how black folk thought back then That’s why I never veered from the black side I would never even have thought of marrying a white man Ruth’s journey seems so improbable but it still epitomizes a theme from the river of stories that frame the immigrant experience in America The blending of culture and race made some lovely blooms Just because a book is a memoir doesn’t mean it can’t have the wonderful architecture of great fiction I don’t read a lot of memoirs and recognize I should read My five stars puts this one up there with “Angela’s Ashes” and “The Glass Castle” and with joy less torment and for my reading pleasure it was a notch above “The Road from Coorain” and “Growing Up”

James McBride ¿ The Color of Water A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother EBOOK

D 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 mother's 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 minist If Cheaper By the Dozen by Frank Gilbraith Jr and The Color Purple by Alice Walker ever somehow met and had an I like you as a friend not a lover child The Color of Water would be it race and a ridiculous amount of kids The concept is compelling and I would recommend this book to anyone who was disappointed that Run Ann Patchett's most recent book didn't deal directly with race issues in a mixed race family Nominally this book is a tribute to James McBride's mother who was an unarguably interesting person McBride's personal issues with his mother clouded her story however and his inability to emotionally separate from her enough to treat her as a character left me feeling that he bit off than he could chew when he decided to write this tribute McBride reflects that his mother was not comfortable having her story told and preferred not to discuss her past with him which leads me to ask whether tribute is an appropriate word to put in the title of this book It would have been a stronger narrative if McBride had openly written The Color of Water as his own story not his mother'sToward the end of the book McBride admits that he experienced emotion hearing his mother's story than his mother did telling it This comes through awkwardly within the narrative For example he names his mother Mommy and that continues as the name of her character throughout the entire story Though he reminds his reader four or five times that Mommy's name changed from Ruchel Dwarja Zylska in Poland to Rachel Deborah Shilsky in America to Ruth McBride Jordan after her marriages and renouncing of the Jewish faith and though his sisters seem call her Ruth or Ruthie he continues to refer to her as Mommy His character rebels grows up becomes a successful journalist but still his mother's character is MommyAt first when I read The Color Purple Mr's name was awkward to me I didn't know how I was supposed to say it I honestly wondered a little bit if Walker couldn't come up with a name for him so she just left it out By the end of the novel the genius of both robbing Mr of the right to a name and calling him something that effectively gives him the potential to be Everyman deepens the novel Not so with Mommy McBride writes a specific woman not a stock character Mommy waddles likes her privacy and doesn't like to do housework While with Mr I eventually hope that my last name never fills that blank with Mommy I know it doesn't She's not my Mommy so do I have to call her that? Does McBride still think of her as he did when he was a small child?McBride divides this book a' la The Grapes of Wrath with alternating chapters that are vignettes from Mommy's point of view and chapters that are a continuing story from his point of view His mother's vignettes are at times very lovely but at some point his chapters started repeating hers as though the stories had not been told already This was not in an artistic Rashamon way but rather seemed like bad editing or worse some kind of psychological disassociation with his mother's story that needed to be dealt with before writing the book At first Mommy's story is supplemental to his memories of her from when he is a child Later however one chapter tells a story from her point of view and then the next from James McBride's point of view repeats the same story by recalling the circumstances of her telling that story to him That's not necessaryAlso who is his sister Jack? I officially do not understand what her relation to the family is if she is not literally his sister I will be sad if I find out he explained that and I missed it when I didn't miss the many times he described his mother's name change and who her childhood best friend wasUnfortunately while The Color of Water has the potential to be a truly great American story it does not live up to that potential McBride's ambivalence as to whether to tell his story or his mother's story sabotaged it and left me feeling uncomfortable like neither he nor his mother were well represented I read this for a book club and many of the people in the club were not distracted by the way McBride told the story To them the fascinating life his mother led and his psychological journey in learning about her were not conflicting storylines that distracted from each other both stories were part of united by the larger journey of him learning to forgive his mother I think they could stay with the story because they were rooting for the motherson relationship I on the other hand am interested in being entertained than other people's psyco health It's shallow but true Basically McBride failed me as an entertainer

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

DOC ✓ READER The Color of Water A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother FREE ✓ 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 sonWho is Ruth Er 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 life's blessings and life's values transcend race Twice widowed and continually confronting overwhelming adversity and racism Ruth's 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 mother's 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 s I am so thankful this book exists As a child of a black father and a white mother I was immensely drawn into the narrative of James MacBride's life My story is not one as connected to the racism he encountered but it nonetheless moved me considerably He paints a tender endearing nuanced portrait of his mother and her life and times and manages to take a deep and conflicting life story and not sink into maudlin recollection or saccharine moralism An amazing tale