The Color of Water

The Color of Water

A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother

Downloadable Audiobook - 2006
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Who was Ruth McBride Jordan? Not even her son knew the answer to that question until he embarked on a twelve-year journey that changed himself and his family forever. Born Rachel Deborah Shilsky, she began life as the daughter of an angry, failed orthodox Jewish rabbi in the South. To escape her unhappy childhood, Ruth ran away to Harlem, married a black man, became Baptist and started an all-black church. Her son James tells of growing up with inner confusions, chaos, and financial hardships; of his own flirtation with drugs and violence; of the love and faith his mother gave her twelve children; and of his belated coming to terms with her Jewish heritage. The result is a powerful portrait of growing up, a meditation on race and identity, and apoignant, beautifully crafted hymn from a son to his mother.
Publisher: [Beverly Hills, Calif.] : Phoenix Books, 2006
Additional Contributors: Kazan, Lainie
Braugher, Andre
Call Number: eAudio

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jun 30, 2015

Very interesting book. One of 12 black children of a white Jewish mother, the author tells how he researched his mother's background, and how proud he was of how she lived her life.

Jessicaamio Aug 19, 2013

Pretty good book but I wish it was easier to get in audio...

Jun 29, 2013

Interesting biography/autobiography about a man and his mother coming to terms with their mixed racial and religious heritage.

Mar 15, 2011

A fine biography. In audio, Andre Braugher and Lanie Kazan lift it to heavenly heights. It moves along briskly and takes you for a trip you won't soon forget.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at DCL

To Top