Racism was a great dilemma for African Americans in the past. James McBride, who was the writer The Color of Water, is a great example on the hardships of racism. McBride tells us of how he and his mother were faced with struggles and still prospered though because It does not matter if he is considered Jewish or Christian; It does not matter if he is considered black or white, all that matters is that you must advance. James begins his life with confusion, not knowing which side to settle with and at the end of the story he is calm and has accepted his identity.
He begins with memories about his father’s death, about the lack of space in their house, about the hobbies his mother took up after his father’s death and about how he was embarrassed by his Jewish mother. On one side he is profoundly in touch with his black side and on the other he despises it. For example, he is teased by the white, and is sent to a Jewish school. He switches between the two sides frequently. When his father dies, he pushes his family away and lives with his step sister and sees the real black life through encounters with the Chicken Man and others.
On the other hand, he also traces out his white Jewish roots through his mother. He understands his mother’s struggles and identifies with them. He begin to realize that she controlled her life, not her religion or her race and as he reaches this realization through his struggles as a black son of a white mother, as a Christian son of a Jewish mother, he understands that it doesn’t matter. He is what he makes of himself: the color of water. His best friend is a Jew and he becomes the best man at his wedding and McBride’s mother attends his wedding and fully participates in it.
These events marks the climax of all the struggles, religious and ethnicity, of the McBride family; the son’s life rising from confusion and ambivalence. James asks his mother whether God is black or white, when he is a boy living in a black community with a mother who is white, and is doing so because he is confised about his personal race and who he is. Adding to the confusion, his mother responds that she is “light-skinned”. When his mother explains that God doesn’t have a color, and that God is “the color of water”, he begins to grasp the concept of god being within us.
Racism, in this time, affected many African American childrens goal in life. During my residency in Florida, I had a African American freidn who I was not allowed to speak to due to racial discrimination. Some individuals fear them or are provoked by the color, which to me is in-humane. When will we see equality among different races? Racism can be defined as a discrimination or prejudice, based on race and a belief that a particular race is superior to others. According to Christian beliefs, all humans have two ancestors, Adam and Eve.
All humans are brothers and sisters but the unique in their own separate ways. Combine this with ignorance and it gives rise to racism. Racism has been around for a long time, and its effects are still being seen. James McBride and his mother stuggle during segregation in 1940-1970’s. To this day racisms still exist. It may not be as worse as in the olden days, but it is still affecting individuals around the world. McBride reveals to us of how his life, during racism, was a complete struggle but still is able to prosper.
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