REVIEW: McBride beautifully describes 1900s interracial relations in ‘The Color of Water’


Graphic Liza Armstrong

Staff writer Maryam Ahmed writes that James McBride describes the reality of being an interracial couple in the 1900s in “The Color of Water.”

Maryam Ahmed, Staff Writer

What would it be like if you were ridiculed for the one you loved? Or if your children received disdainful glances from strangers? James McBride’s “The Color of Water” is an interesting story which answers those questions through the eyes of his mother, Ruth McBride.

The story follows the childhood of Ruth McBride, along with the story of how the author learned of his mother’s past and some of his own life. The story speaks of Ruth’s childhood with her unloving father and with the experiences Ruth must face as a white woman in Staffolk, Virginia falling in love with an African American man and having interracial children. The book often goes into detail of how Ruth was cast away and shunned by her family.

The author does a phenomenal job narrating not only his, but his mother’s story. Though it had a bit of a slow beginning, the story slowly blossomed into a beautiful book as McBride goes into the details of his and his mother’s lives. In order to write the book, the author had to go to different places such as his mother’s old street and talk to her old family friends.

I truly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to people who enjoy biographies and books that dive into the harsh reality of the 1900s.