The Color of Water 10th Anniversary Edition and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Color of Water, The: A Black Man's Tribute to his White Mother Audio CD – Bargain Price, February 1, 2010

1,121 customer reviews

See all 45 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Audio CD, Bargain Price, February 1, 2010
$20.22 $14.86

This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an Amazon.com price sticker identifying them as such. Details

Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Order this book ... and please don't be put off by its pallid subtitle, A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, which doesn't begin to do justice to the utterly unique and moving story contained within. The Color of Water tells the remarkable story of Ruth McBride Jordan, the two good men she married, and the 12 good children she raised. Jordan, born Rachel Shilsky, a Polish Jew, immigrated to America soon after birth; as an adult she moved to New York City, leaving her family and faith behind in Virginia. Jordan met and married a black man, making her isolation even more profound. The book is a success story, a testament to one woman's true heart, solid values, and indomitable will. Ruth Jordan battled not only racism but also poverty to raise her children and, despite being sorely tested, never wavered. In telling her story--along with her son's--The Color of Water addresses racial identity with compassion, insight, and realism. It is, in a word, inspiring, and you will finish it with unalloyed admiration for a flawed but remarkable individual. And, perhaps, a little more faith in us all. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The need to clarify his racial identity prompted the author to penetrate his veiled and troubled family history. Ruth McBride Jordan concealed her former life as Rachel Deborah Shilsky, the daughter of an Orthodox Jewish rabbi, from her children. Her grim upbringing in an abusive environment is left behind when she moves to Harlem, marries a black man, converts to Christianity, and cofounds a Baptist congregation with her husband. The courage and tenacity shown by this twice-widowed mother who manages to raise 12 children, all of whom go on to successful careers, are remarkable. The intertwined accounts, told alternately by mother and son, are enhanced by the gifted voices of readers Andre Braugher and Lainie Kazan. Highly recommended for public libraries.
Linda Bredengerd, Univ. of Pittsburgh Lib., Bradford, Pa.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Phoenix Audio (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607474263
  • ASIN: B005Q80HNQ
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 5.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,150,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

155 of 156 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is, indeed, a tribute to the author's mother. In it, the author, a man whose mother was white and his father black, tells two stories: that of his mother and his own. Tautly written in spare, clear prose, it is a wonderful story of a bi-racial family who succeeded and achieved the American dream, despite the societal obstacles placed in its way.

The author's mother was a Polish Orthodox Jew who migrated to America at the age of two with her family during the early nineteen twenties. They ultimately settled down in Virginia, where she led an isolated and lonely life; shunned by whites because she was Jewish and shunned by blacks because she was white. She was raised in a predominantly black neighborhood, where her father, a despicable and harsh man who brutalized his handicapped wife, ran a local grocery store, where he priced gouged his black clientele.

She left home and moved to New York when she was nineteen and never looked back. She met and married the author's father, a black man, when mixed race marriages were still frowned upon by both whites and blacks. Still, she always felt more comfortable around blacks than around whites. When he died sixteen years later, she married another black man who nurtured her eight children by the author's father and proceeded to give her four more children.

The author tells of his childhood, of his family, and of the issue of race that ultimately colored his life while growing up in predominantly black neighborhoods, where his mother stood out like a sore thumb because of the color of her skin. It was always an issue his mother avoided discussing with him, as for her it was not an issue. It was not until the author wrote this book that his mother discussed the issue of race within the context of her own life.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
129 of 134 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is, indeed, a tribute to the author's mother. In it, the author, a man whose mother was white and his father black, tells two stories: that of his mother and his own. Tautly written in spare, clear prose, it is a wonderful story of a bi-racial family who succeeded and achieved the American dream, despite the societal obstacles placed in its way.

The author's mother was a Polish Orthodox Jew who migrated to America at the age of two with her family during the early nineteen twenties. They ultimately settled down in Virginia, where she led an isolated and lonely life; shunned by whites because she was Jewish and shunned by blacks because she was white. She was raised in a predominantly black neighborhood, where her father, a despicable and harsh man who brutalized his handicapped wife, ran a local grocery store, where he priced gouged his black clientele.

She left home and moved to New York when she was nineteen and never looked back. She met and married the author's father, a black man, when mixed race marriages were still frowned upon by both whites and blacks. Still, she always felt more comfortable around blacks than around whites. When he died sixteen years later, she married another black man who nurtured her eight children by the author's father and proceeded to give her four more children.

The author tells of his childhood, of his family, and of the issue of race that ultimately colored his life while growing up in predominantly black neighborhoods, where his mother stood out like a sore thumb because of the color of her skin. It was always an issue his mother avoided discussing with him, as for her it was not an issue. It was not until the author wrote this book that his mother discussed the issue of race within the context of her own life.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
50 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Chad Spivak on August 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading it for the second time (first time was when it was a new release), and I still can't get over how much this book touched me. This book is one incredibly moving memoir.
The Color of Water is a black man's tribute to his white Jewish mother. I really enjoyed hearing Ruth McBride Jordan's amazing story. Through the telling of her life, we learn a great deal about the the author, James McBride, as well.
We read through Ruth's story, feeling her anguish in hard times. We fight with her to put twelve children through college, and we lend our hearts out to her in hopes of easing her job of instilling proper values in her children. McBride did an excellent job of bringing the reader directly into this unforgettable story, allowing us to feel the emotion.
The book's format was quite interesting as well, alternating chapters from the mother's point of view to that of his. The Color of Water was just an all-around well written book, and a joy to read. Please read this powerful, uplifting memoir. You'll enjoy it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
54 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Krista on July 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
Subtitled "A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother," this book is exactly that -- a man's account of his research into his mother's background. McBride's mother raised twelve fantastically successful children despite enormous obstacles. Unfortunately, McBride seems to value resume-type accomplishments more than ones of character. He tells us every degree earned by his brothers and sisters, but very little about them as people. What type of personalities do they have? Who are their families? What are their passions? I would have liked to have known.
McBride takes a removed stance, as if it were somebody else's family that he was assigned to report on. His background in journalism may help explain the odd distance McBride maintains.
In the end, I knew a lot about the details of his mother's life, but little of her inner existence. Perhaps this limited amount was all that McBride could tell. Perhaps all we really know about people is what they present to the outside world. Despite the altnerating points of view (McBride alternates chapters as "himself" and "his mother") McBride never climbs far enough into his mother's head to make her seem real to me.
My favorite scene: McBride's mother speaks at a church celebration/reunion. Overcome by emotion, she throws away her notes and speaks ad lib, from the heart. I wish that McBride had followed her lead when writing this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?