"If you can write, that's great. If you can tell a story, that's even greater. But if you can work a resilient premise into both, you're worth digging to find."

Monday, December 14, 2015

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

Synopsis: A personal narrative of a young man learning about his black and white heritage.

Writing Style: First person; an engaging blend of mother and son’s story. Journalism in its finest!

Pacing: Fast.

Premise: The meaning of ‘race’ and ‘class.’

Personal Highlights: Another dated...but outstanding, relevant read all the same. What a fabulous, priceless story "Ruth" provided her son. Her entries not only add texture to the subject of race, but it is an integral piece to McBrides's holistic journey in discovering the ‘lost’ part of himself. Ruth’s view on bourgeois blacks… priceless. And James McBride describing Rev. Owens hearing his mother singing and ‘the holy ghost’ coming out in church had me in stitches.

Overall this is a poignant story, even if the title conflicts with authentic science. Almost sounds like a story about an adoptive parent. I prefer savoring Ruth McBride-Jordan's quotes and views such as “What’s money if your mind is empty?” ...and her parallel of how those without can be so happy, while those like the Tateh (Yiddish word for father) could have plenty, yet live incredibly miserably.  So… ‘just what is the color of water?’ – The question gets answered inside the story. Very nice job. Highly recommended. A keeper for sure.

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