The Color of Water

The Color of Water
A Black Man`s Tribute to His
White Mother
------James McBride
The Color of Water
1. Summary
2. Main charters 2 people
3. Setting
4. What interesting about the book??
5. What could we learn for the book??
The Color of Water (Summary 1)
While growing up, James
McBride never knew where
his mother had come from.
When he asked her if she was
white , she simply replied that
she was “light skinned”, which
confusion about his own racial
identity. As an adult, James
McBride offers the reader his
story by alternating between
his mother’s voice and his own.
-----James McBride
The Color of Water (Summary 2)
Ruth McBride Jordan was born in Poland to an
Orthodox Jewish family that immigrated to the
United States when she was two. Her name then was
Rachel Deborah Shilsky, and her father was a traveling
rabbi who abused his family and forced them to settle
in the small town of Suffolk, Virginia.
After graduating from high school, Ruth moved
to New York City and began working in her aunt’s
leather-goods factory. She returned to Suffolk when
she learned that her mother was sick, but in the end
refused to stay. Upon resuming her life in New York,
she fell in love and married a black man named
Andrew McBride.
By the time Ruth learned that her mother had
died, she had been disowned, considered to be “dead”
by her family. She became a Christian to deal with all
of the problems and found a new life. She and her
husband raised eight children after moving from
Harlem to Brooklyn. James McBride was born after
his father had died. Ruth remarried a man named
Hunter Jordan, and gave Ruth more children.
-----James` mother: Ruth
McBride Jordan
The Color of Water (Summary 3)
The importance of school and the church was instilled in
each of the children. Ruth insisted that they go to Jewish
public school and perform well, as they were the “token”
black students in the classrooms. Later in his life, James
McBride wrote his autobiography and his mother’s
biography. Which is known as the Color of Water.
-----James McBride and His
mother Ruth McBride
The Color of Water (Main Character:
James McBride)
James McBride:
The author and narrator of his life growing
up in a Brooklyn hosing project with a Jewish
mother. He describes his personal confusion
experiences about race and identity, and initial
impulse to discover his mother’s history, and his
evolution into music and writing, and his ultimate
endeavor to tell his mother’s story.
The Color of Water (Main Character:
Ruth McBride)
Ruth McBride:
She was born Rachel Deborah Shilsky in Poland.
Ruth, is the twelve children, was born into an orthodox
Jewish family and raised in a violent Southern town. At
nineteen, She moved into a new life in New York City,
Where she fell in love with a black Baptist minister named
Andrew McBride. When She married McBride, She was
pronounced dead by her Jewish relation. She insisted on
absolute privacy, excellent school grades and no outsiders
of either race.
The Color of Water (Setting)
Three settings in the book:
1.In 1920s to 1930s (Ruth arrived in the U.S and
lived with her parents)
2.In 1940s to 1950s (Ruth moved to N.Y and
married with her first husband)
3.In 1960s to 1970s (The black power happened
in Harlem)
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The Color of Water (In 1920s to 1930s )
The author`s mother name Ruth
McBride, she bored in Poland in
1921, and she arrived in U.S at the
age of two. In this time of the U.S,
the American stock market crashed
in October, 1929, the U.S fell into a
depression. People were laid off,
bank collapsed, and people lost their
home. Farmers in America were hurt
by the dust bowl, and were forced
out of their farms. In 1933s, U.S
happened a huge famine, the
famine killed nearly 7million people,
it occupies about 7% in American
people, and Ruth lived with her
parents in this time.
------In 1929 American stock market crashed,
one man sold his car for 100 dollars
-----In 1933 a huge famine, many people
died in the famine
The Color of Water (In 1940s to 1950s)
In 1940s and 1950s, Ruth
moved to New York, and marry with
her first husband Andrew McBride.
They lived in Harlem. At that time,
the Civil Rights happened in
Harlem. Many violence and
between Ruth and her children,
because her children can`t solve the
problem for their own identities as
biracial members of society. When
her children finally confronted these
issues, they understand Ruth why
she didn`t talk to them in their
-----In 1950s the Civil Rights, a long Civil
Rights Movement in the street
-----In the Civil Rights Movement, a
black man was beaten by police
The Color of Water (Black Power Movements)
Except Civil right, Black Power
Movement is also an important sign on
that time. For Black Power Movement.
We need to know “Student Nonviolent
committee developed in the 1960s,
many member of SNCC, among them
Stokely Carmichael, Martin Luther King.
Jr, they are important figures in that
movement. Although the concept
remained imprecise and contested the
people who used the slogan ranged
from business people who used it to
push black capitalism to revolutionaries
who sought an end to capitalism, the
idea of black power exerted a significant
-----In 1960s, many Black Power Movements
happened in U.S
------Martin Luther King. Jr spoke his speech
“I have a dream”
The Color of Water (What `s
interesting about it)
Four interesting points in the book:
1.The Title
2.The author Living
3.The race Problem in the author`s family
4.Two distinct told the author`s family
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The Color of Water (The title)
I think the best place is the title: “The
Color of Water”. It can’t be thought that it
detail about bi-race in a family when people
look at the title first. However the author uses
a appropriate material, water instead of this
condition. All of us know that water has no
color, as the same to author’s family that has
no race in their lives.
The Color of Water (The author Living)
The age that the author lived is a serious
racial discrimination society. But his mother was
a white and his father was a black. And this book
states that how they live in a black neighborhoods
with their white mother. It displays a series true
image to readers about life in that time.
The Color of Water (The race Problem
in the author`s family)
This book talks about the race in the
author’s family, but it is also a very personal story.
It expresses a encouraging attitude in life.
Although the author ‘s family was so poor, his
independent mother always stressed education.
Consequently, all twelve eventually went to
college and did her proud.
The Color of Water (Two distinct told
the author`s family)
When I first read this book that I was
confused about the statement. Then I know that
this story of this unique family is told from two
distinct, parallel perspectives: that of the author
and that of his mother. You must read it clearly.
The Color of Water (What could we
learn for the book)
We learn two things for the book:
1. Discrimination couldn’t solve any problems.
2. Education is a very important key to everybody.
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The Color of Water (Discrimination)
The book The color of water says that We shouldn’t hate
someone just because they are different color We all should have
right to do what other people do. Just like Ruth McBride, the
author’s mother, she sent all of her 12 black children to white
school because she didn’t think that school should divide by color.
Her children should go to school like other white children.
Discrimination couldn’t solve any problems, it just creates
hate and violence in our heart and our lives. We shouldn’t have
racism in our lives and our world, because we are all the same. In
the book The color of water, black and white were hating each
other, discriminating each other and fighting each other. However,
it couldn’t stop anything.
The Color of Water (Education)
Education is a very important key to everybody, a key to
open the door of success. The way James’s mother Ruth McBride
sent her children to school was want them to become success in
the further. Eventually she was right about that, all of her kids
were successful after they graduated from school. Moreover,
education can change people’s life. High education people would
be more better than uneducated people, because they learned
how to respect each other and don’t discriminate other people
from school. Also those educated people would reduce the
discrimination percentage in this country.
It doesn’t matter what our skin color is. What matter is our
beliefs and how we are raised, and what we achieve in life.
Thank you for
your reading~~
Ryusuke Kodama
Jina Saint
Shihao Wu
Quankun Yan
Chen Yang