Group members Nataliya Bramante Carlos Ignacio Islander Francois Rina Aguilar Stephanie Cruz Katherin Murklo
Agenda Author Main idea Setting a) Themes # 1 b) Themes # 2 c) Themes #3 Conclusion
The author of autobiographical memoire The Color of Water is James McBride. He was born 1957 from Jewish mother and Africa-American father. James McBride was raised in Brooklyn's Red Hook housing projects. He has eleven brothers and sisters. James McBride received a degree in music composition from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, in Ohio. Upon graduation, he pursued a master's degree in journalism at Columbia University. He published The Color of Water in 1997 and for more than two years his novel have been in the best seller list on the New York Times magazine.
The Color of Water is a very famous autobiographical memoire written by James McBride about his childhood and especially about his white Jewish mother. Ruth McBride Jordan was born in Poland to an Orthodox Jewish family that immigrated to the United States when she was two years old. She ran away from her family after she graduated high school and married a black man in New York. She gave birth to twelve children and was raised them in an black Brooklyn community by herself. All of her children finished high school and earned a degree. During all her life, Ruth McBride Jordan never stopped to believe in God and her faith helped her went through many difficulties in her life.
In this memoire James McBride developed three major themes which made his autobiographical story divided in three important parts. First theme is death and rebirth Rachel Deborah Shilsky to Ruth McBride Jordan. The second theme is God and religion interpretation play very important role in Rachel and her kids life as well. The third theme is education in James McBride family was important because his mother believed that money without knowledge is worthless. The first theme begins when Rachel Shilsky starts telling us a story about her life as Jew and how her family reacted when after finishing high school she moved to New York and married a black man. Soon after that all her family members didn’t want to know her anymore. For them she was dead. The marriage with Andrew McBride(the father of James McBride) changed her life forever and helped her to find herself in another faith as a stronger believer than ever before. She also become a mother of twelve children who looked completely different because they had darker skin. Nothing could stop Ruth to live her life the way she always dream to.
The second theme is about how James McBride in his childhood often asked his mother whether Cod looked black or white. He was very confused about himself because he saw that everybody around him looked the same, except his mother. His mother was a real mystery for him until he grew up and understand the real reason why she was different from other people around them. The way how Rachel McBride believed in God and the way how she taught her twelve kids to believe was absolutely unique. She taught them that God don’t have color, that God don’t have gender, and God don’t have a ethical background. For Him everybody is equal in everything. This way of believe and understanding God ‘s convention help Rachel and her children enjoyed every single day and go through difficulties in their daily life.
The third theme of this novel is about educational rules in James McBride family. His mother denied her Jewish background but when it was about to checked their homework or chose a good school for them she never lost that chance and acted as a real Jewish mother. She truly believed that money without knowledge is worthless and the knowledge come first before anything else. If one of her children asked her some improper question or went the wrong way in life she would always said, “Go educate your mind. When you get it come back and ask me again.” All of her twelve kids graduated from high school and earned a degree.
We think that The Color of Water is a great book to read not only for educational purposes but also to understand and follow two very important things in our life. The first is God don’t care about our color, ethical things and our backgrounds. For Him we are all the same. The second is that money without knowledge is worthless. We also think that James McBride wrote this book about his mother, because he was grateful for everything what she has done for him and his siblings and also because he is supporting a major aspects of our life which were mention in this book.