THE COLOR of WATER is an autobiography of James McBride written as a tribute to his remarkable, eccentric, determined mother and an eloquent exploration of what family really means.
As a boy in Brooklyn’s Red Hook projects, James McBride knew his mother was different. But when he asked about it, she’d simply say, “I’m light-skinned.” Later he wondered if he was different, too, and asked his mother if he was black or white. “You’re a human being,” she snapped. “Educate yourself or you’ll be a nobody!” And when James asked what color God was, she said, “God is the color of water.” As an adult, McBride finally persuaded his mother to tell her story – the story of a rabbi’s daughter, born in Poland and raised in the South, who fled to Harlem, married a black man, founded a Baptist church, and put twelve children through college.