March 30, 2005

Different People, Different Colors

Race is still such a large issue in society. It has not gone away through the years, but maybe has intensified. The difference is the way we look at race. Now, race is discussed (somewhat) intelligently, with varying viewpoints being addressed. Yet years ago, say in the 1950s and 60s, race was not so civil. People would scream insults and attack other races, just for being different. These feelings are addressed in James McBride's The Color of Water.

One might initially look at the obvious racial issue in the book- a white woman with her black kids. Interracial relationships were not common back when McBride was a boy, so this made his life somewhat interesting. He experienced firsthand just how important race was and how people reacted to differences. Yet there is another race issue within the book. His white Jewish mother with a black man. Now you have an even larger difference between his mother and father. The sections of the book that focused on the mother's childhood were more interesting (to me) than the story of McBride's childhood. Sure, he was black, growing up 60s, with a white mother. Ok. But her story, of being Jewish and having to fight to live the life she wanted was the more compelling tale. It addressed race in a larger way. There is the white/black conflict, white/Jewish conflict, black/Jewish conflict. It provided many insights into how race is involved in all elements of one's life, but we must overcome them.

Posted by VanessaKolberg at March 30, 2005 09:03 AM | TrackBack
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