James Mcbride Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Family and Marriage Type: Essay Paper: #23696262 Related Topics: Online Dating, Supermarket, Racial Discrimination, Water
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … racism investigated and a paradox that is inherent in a family that had a mixed race was also identified. Illustrations of these concepts can be found in the book the Color of Water written by James McBride. To provide contrast, this book was also considered in respect to another article published in 'The new York Times' in 2011 that explores similar issues. The article quotes a white woman at the supermarket commenting on the apparent disparity in the skin color of the mother and child says, "It's just not possible & #8230;You're so...dark!" (Saulny). Even though decades separate the two pieces, it is astonishing to realize that many of the issues pertaining to families of mixed race are essentially the same. Some members in a mixed race family can be treated differently than other members of the same family depending solely on their appearance and their complexation and this paradox will be further explored.


In the book 'The Color OF Water', James McBride essentially writes his own biography coupled with the life of his mother. McBride was dark in complexion and had typical features of a black man. On the other hand his mother, Rachel Shilsky -- a Jew by


Rachel had got married to a black minister and gave birth to 8 children in the 1950s and then after she got widowed she married a black blacksmith and gave birth to 4 more children. McBride got his black complexion from his black father.

Even as McBride grew up, he found that there was racial discrimination all around him. He was taught to see danger from whites and not to trust white colored people. This was a kind of a paradox for him. As a child the issues of race, religion and identity reigned supreme in the mind of McBride. He also failed to understand what he was doing in a family with a white member-his mother. He was confused. In his words in the book, McBride writes, "I thought it would be easier if we were just one color, black or white. I didn't want to be white. My siblings had already instilled the notion of black pride in me. I would have preferred that Mommy were black. Now, as a grown man, I feel privileged to have come from two worlds" (McBride). It is clear form the words that McBride was completely confused by his mother being white when he saw all around that white mothers had white children and black mothers black children. He, as a child and as an adolescent, failed to understand why his mother.

In another part of the book McBride writes how people viewed their family. When they would go out together people would point…

Sources Used in Documents:


McBride, James. The Color Of Water. Print.

Saulny, S. (2011). In Strangers' Glances at Family, Tensions Linger. The New York Times. [online] Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/13/us/for-mixed-family-old-racial-tensions-remain-part-of-life.html [Accessed 5 May 2015].

Cite this Document:

"James Mcbride" (2015, May 05) Retrieved January 26, 2022, from

"James Mcbride" 05 May 2015. Web.26 January. 2022. <

"James Mcbride", 05 May 2015, Accessed.26 January. 2022,

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