The Color of Water

by: James McBride

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

I thought it would be easier if we were just one color, black or white. I didn't want to be white. My siblings had already instilled the notion of black pride in me. I would have preferred that Mommy were black. Now, as a grown man, I feel privileged to have come from two worlds.

Here James muses on the particular difficulty of being biracial. He says that he underwent a complete attitude transformation during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. He went from resenting his mother's race to feeling blessed to have come from a mixed race union. When James was a child, he knew nothing about his mother's Jewish background, and his siblings' fostered in him a resentful attitude toward whites. As a result, he found his mother's whiteness problematic. When he grew older, however, and became more aware of the state of race relations in the country and in his family, he began to accept and eventually appreciate his dual racial identity.