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

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9781573225786: The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother

James McBride grew up one of twelve siblings in the all-black housing projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn, the son of a black minister and a woman who would not admit she was white. The object of McBride's constant embarrassment and continuous fear for her safety, his mother was an inspiring figure, who through sheer force of will saw her dozen children through college, and many through graduate school. McBride was an adult before he discovered the truth about his mother: The daughter of a failed itinerant Orthodox rabbi in rural Virginia, she had run away to Harlem, married a black man, and founded an all-black Baptist church in her living room in Red Hook. In her son's remarkable memoir, she tells in her own words the story of her past. Around her narrative, James McBride has written a powerful portrait of growing up, a meditation on race and identity, and a poignant, beautifully crafted hymn from a son to his mother.

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Review:

Order this book ... and please don't be put off by its pallid subtitle, A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, which doesn't begin to do justice to the utterly unique and moving story contained within. The Color of Water tells the remarkable story of Ruth McBride Jordan, the two good men she married, and the 12 good children she raised. Jordan, born Rachel Shilsky, a Polish Jew, immigrated to America soon after birth; as an adult she moved to New York City, leaving her family and faith behind in Virginia. Jordan met and married a black man, making her isolation even more profound. The book is a success story, a testament to one woman's true heart, solid values, and indomitable will. Ruth Jordan battled not only racism but also poverty to raise her children and, despite being sorely tested, never wavered. In telling her story--along with her son's--The Color of Water addresses racial identity with compassion, insight, and realism. It is, in a word, inspiring, and you will finish it with unalloyed admiration for a flawed but remarkable individual. And, perhaps, a little more faith in us all.

About the Author:

James McBride is an accomplished musician and author of the National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird, the #1 bestselling American classic The Color of Water, and the bestsellers Song Yet Sung and Miracle at St. Anna, which was turned into a film by Spike Lee. McBride is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.
 

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James McBride
ISBN 10: 1573225789 ISBN 13: 9781573225786
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McBride, James
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Book Description Berkley Publishing Group, New York, New York, U.S.A., 2002. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 300 pages + preview. Book in new condition--from my store inventory. James McBride's moving memoir about his mother, a rabbi's daughter born in Poland and raised in the South, who fled to Harlem, married a black man, founded a Baptist church, and put twelve children through college. James asked his mother if he was black or white. "You're a human being," she snapped. "Educate yourself or you'll be a nobody!" Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Multiple copies available this title. Quantity Available: 6. Shipped Weight: Under 1 pound. Category: Biography & Autobiography; ISBN: 1573225789. ISBN/EAN: 9781573225786. Pictures of this item not already displayed here available upon request. Inventory No: 603172. Bookseller Inventory # 603172

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James McBride
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McBride, James
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