The American South, especially in from the 1930s to the 1960s, is a hard place to live for when you are a “colored person. ” This novel, written by James McBride, discovers the complexities of having a bi-racial activity, especially at a time when blacks and other minorities are hated and discriminated upon by the dominant white society.This novel attempts to reflect at the domination of American society by the white man, and attempts to discover his own identity by looking at his mother’s past: the life of Ruth McBride, a Polish-Jewish immigrant in the South of the 1930s, beset by constant intimidation and violence of the white majority to other racial minorities, especially to Jewish immigrants and to the blacks, who were historically imported by white plantation owners to work as slaves in cotton plantations.However, the journey of Ruth McBride does not end here; she actually continued her journey away from the American South, loving two blacks in the way, and describing the unique complexities of the Harlem district of New York City. The Christian faith also plays a colorful part in this novel, providing the needed comfort and guidance in times of adversity.This background, combined with question about his racial self-identity, will soon lead him to have a violent behavior, including phases of drug use and crime. However, he will soon find value in his life, relying upon the principles of hard work and self improvement, plus additional skills in writing and jazz music. The novel starts with chapters introducing the mother of the author, Ruth McBride, and is already full of symbolisms and drama (McBride, n. pag. ).We will write a custom essay sample on Racism and Self-Identity: A Review of “The Color of Water” specifically for you for only $16.38 $13.9/pageORDER NOWThe first chapter, entitled Dead, describes the Jewish origin of Ruth, and offers a glimpse of the discrimination that they are already experiencing; and she further becomes “dead” due to her marriage to Dennis McBride, whose race is officially viewed as inferior, and whose race is a victim of an officially-sponsored racial segregation (McBride, n. pag. ). Given that the background of the family of Ruth comes from a conservative one, guided by orthodox Jewish practices, choosing to marry a colored one surely brings in discrimination by society and rejection of the family.In this case, it can be clearly seen that in America of the early twentieth century, your race can actually determine the way you live; being a colored can make you have a miserable life constantly under threat and looked down, even when you may live in the “land of the free. ” This theme continues in the second and third chapters, where the bicycle of Ruth became a medium where she can find constant movement away from the troubles of living a multi-racial family, all while her son James already looked into crime and drugs for escape (McBride, n. ag. ). Ruth also recalls the origins of her family, as symbolized by the Kosher, where Jews are already suffering from discrimination and intimidation in their native land, and where immigration and the practices of orthodox Judaism serves as a convenient escape from the racial discrimination that they are experiencing (McBride, n. pag. ). Such experiences vividly explore the hardships of belonging to a hated race, where escape is a necessary thing.