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The Color of Water
The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother | James McBride
60 posts | 144 read | 80 to read
As a boy in Brooklyn, James McBride knew his mother was different. But when he asked her about it, she'd simply say, 'I'm light-skinned.' Later he wondered if he was different too and asked his mother if he was black or white. 'You're a human being,' she snapped. 'Educate yourself or you'll be a nobody!' And when James asked what colour God was, she said, 'God is the color of water'... As an adult, McBride finally persuaded his mother to tell her story - the story of a rabbi's daughter, born in Poland and raised in the South, who fled to Harlem, married a black man, founded a Baptist church and put twelve children through college. THE COLOR OF WATER is James McBride's tribute to his remarkable, eccentric, determined mother - and an eloquent exploration of what family means.
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Niyah

The literally mean of the book (the color of water a black man‘s tribute to his white mother) is about a black man as a child telling his story as a young boy and how he know his mother was different.

Denotation- PRIVACY it‘s no other way u can put this it means what it means

Connotation- of a ANGRY African-American students #Angry is a emotion and a feeling

TheMrsShaw Great effort! Next time, make sure you choose the same word to do both connotation and de notation. 10mo
2 likes1 comment
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Staci
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Pickpick

I loved this book. The experience between his Mom and the author made this book.

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ElizaMarie
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Pickpick

Wow. What can I say about this other that.. wow. Thank you again @KaylaD for gifting this to me so long ago. It was a joy! I thought it would take me a while to read because its not my usual genre (memoir) but... I fell into it really intensely!

Great great great!
#BookSpin #BookSpinBingo
@TheAromaOfBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 2y
26 likes1 comment
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ElizaMarie
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Cracked open this @BookSpin book yesterday. It's pretty intense so far. I feel like this is good but it might be a little bit of a “longer“ read for me as it is emotional .. Thank you again @KaylaD for this gift (so long ago and I am barely getting to it!)

BethM Great sleeve! 2y
ElizaMarie @BethM Thanks !!! @Avanders gifted it to me and I just love it!!! 2y
Chrissyreadit I love this book so much!!!!!! 2y
ElizaMarie @Chrissyreadit I am really enjoying it but it‘s a bit rough 2y
Avanders 😘😘 2y
33 likes5 comments
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kimmypete1
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Pickpick

Read this for my school book club, and really enjoyed it. It‘s a complex, heartbreaking and hopeful story of James McBride and his mother. Discuses not only an interracial marriage in the 30s/40s but also his mother‘s relationship with religion.

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luvlee68
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RickW
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Pickpick

Again I will put myself out there and say James McBride may be the Hemingway/Baldwin/Salinger of our time. This is Not Deacon King Kong, which just goes to show the depth of his writing. It is an autobiographical tribute to his Jewish Mother and all the abuse that she received from, well just about everyone. It‘s about her resilience and her ability to triumph. If you don‘t cry by the end of this then you should take a one way trip to Mars.

SamAnne I want to read everything by him. Next up is Good Lord Bird. 2y
RickW @SamAnne Same here. 2y
3 likes2 comments
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Brooke_H
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Pickpick

A parent/child memoir told in alternating parts between James and his mother Ruth. I'm in awe of Ruth. I would never have made it past that terrible childhood, much less been able to raise 12 mixed-race children in poverty starting in the 1940s (all of whom became sort of ridiculously educated and successful adults). A remarkable story written remarkably.

(quarantine book #91; read a parent/child memoir)

SamAnne I just finished Deacon King Kong and have put this and The Good Lord Bird on my TBR list. 2y
RickW I almost finished this in one sitting. I read it because of Deacon King Kong. I wanted to know more. This is an incredible book. His Mother put up with so much crap from whites, blacks, jews and still found a place in her heart to love. She literally turned the other cheek, sponsored a church and produced children who are super smart. It‘s an incredible book. Your review was also very good. 2y
17 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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Sarahreadstoomuch
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My #booked2020 #spring tally sheet! I missed #tartannoir, but got the other 5. Favorite read is the tagged book.

Cinfhen Tagged book is one of my favorite memoirs/ awesome choice 🙌🏻 This is your #Spring #OfficialSecondQuarterEntry #Booked2020 💕🎉🌻🎶

2y
See All 6 Comments
Sarahreadstoomuch @Cinfhen Southern Lady Code was quick and funny. I listened to the audio which was great. Schindler‘s List is phenomenal. Tough to read, more in depth than I remember from the movie, and well worth it. 2y
Cinfhen Thanks for the feedback / definitely moving the 2 books UP my list ❤️😃 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage Great job!! 2y
24 likes6 comments
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megnews
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Hey, #OverBookedClub #MonthofMemoirs friends and all others. James McBride‘s memoir tribute to his mom is a #kindledeal today. I must have read this pre-2008 when I started using Goodreads, but I still think of and recommend it often. Check it out.

sblbooks I couldn't pull it up on litsy, I keep having trouble with their book profiles. Is anyone anyone else having the same problem? 3y
megnews @sblbooks I‘m not having that problem but it seems slow pulling up my notifications today. 3y
29 likes2 comments
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Sarahreadstoomuch
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Pickpick

This is one from the bottom of my TBR pile! My mom has given it to me to read years ago, after my grandmother had given it to her. And so fitting, as this #memoirofparentandchild tells the story of one black man getting to know his white/Jewish mother‘s life story as an adult. I am in awe of her and her children; they are a testament to her for sure. #booked2020 #bbrc #yeahbaby #bookswap #readmyowndamnbooks

Cinfhen I LOVE this book!! I met JM and he was such an awesome, intelligent, personable, warm individual. Great choice (edited) 3y
alisiakae Great review! 3y
Chrissyreadit One of my favorite books of all time! I‘m always excited when I see it posted 3y
BarbaraTheBibliophage Really need to read this one!! 3y
32 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Chrissyreadit
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3.Thanks for the tag @ElizaMarie I know it‘s already Friday... 1. This is a favorite book and a favorite memoir... thought of it because of the brief discussion on @CrowCAH ‘s page and I buy it whenever I see a used copy so I can give it to someone.
2. Hellebores
1. 50‘s with wind and rain

CrowCAH Yes, what a good recommendation! Even with all my copies of P&P, even I pick up editions I already own, so I can gift them to others. 3y
Eggs Brilliant recommendation 📖👏🏻🤗 3y
ozma.of.oz I had to look up hellebores and they are just breathtaking! ❤️ 3y
ElizaMarie Just read the summary of this book and it sounds super good! I am not a huge memoir person but... this one would definitely be something I will be looking for. Also I love the idea of buying copies of your favorite book to give them as gifts :) (stacking this one so I can remember to have it on my radar) 3y
61 likes4 comments
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megnews
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I just love this book and it‘s author. Kindle book on sale today for $1.99.

BeaG It is a great read. 3y
23 likes1 comment
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Cinfhen
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#SeptemberSins One of the MOST compelling memoirs I ever read. James McBride is the child, one of 12 born to a white Jewish mother and a black Christian father. In the veins of Jeanette Walls and Tara Westover, McBride offers an intimate and unforgettable account of what it feels like growing up not recognized as #BlackOrWhite 😢High praise for both writing and storytelling and EXTRA shoutout to James‘s mom for doing the best she could.

Ruthiella I know it bugged other readers but I liked how he referred to her as “mommy” all through the book! 😀 3y
Cinfhen Funny, I don‘t remember that at all @Ruthiella 3y
78 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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mom2bugnbee
Pickpick

I have no idea how I've missed this book for so long - I'm in my 40's and this was published when I was in high school!

What a story. What a lady. Go read it.

⭐⭐⭐⭐✨/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A book written by a musician - #pop19
A book about a family - #pop19

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mom2bugnbee
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On the tail end of a chest cold, so I'm pretty zapped - thankful that there wasn't much to do today. My daughter's cat, Rose, always seems to find me & curl up in the crook of my legs when I'm reading in bed.

This memoir by the son of a black man & an Orthodox Jewish woman is riveting. My husband & I are as WASP as they come, so I can't pretend to understand what she went through. Regardless, I can't put it down. #currentread #currentlyreading

britt_brooke Great read! Glad you‘re starting to feel better. 3y
Seekingtardis I hope it‘s gone for good real soon!! 3y
Crazeedi I love when they curl up in the curve of the legs, so comforting 3y
Amiable This was a really good read 3y
42 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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hazykiid
Pickpick

Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful! As a biracial girl living in a similar world as McBride, I could real are so deeply to the words. But the wonderful thing about the book is that you don‘t even have to be like McBride to understand what it feels like to not feel like you belong or that life sometimes is working against you. And his mother is soooo AWESOME!!!

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Jbakesmcgee3
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Excited to start this one for book club!

11 likes1 stack add
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megnews
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Pickpick

This was my first James McBride many years ago and I‘ve loved everything else he‘s written since.

#water #sprinvgintoreading

Cinfhen Fantastic memoir!! Was not a fan of this one though 4y
28 likes1 comment
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BookishShelly
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Pickpick

I saw this on the library‘s Black History Month display table but just finished it today. (It works for Women‘s History Month too, though.) It is so good. My son has a white mother and Chinese father, rather than a Black father, but I tend to be drawn to memoirs of mixed race children. Not that my son‘s life is anything like the author‘s. He‘s an only child and not one of 12 for starters. But this is a good read for everyone.

Abby2 I agree. Two of y kids are mixed (adopted) and I found this very enlightening. 4y
36 likes1 stack add1 comment
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CorinnaBechko
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This is such a cool idea! #ibelieveinbookfaries

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Erinhunt
Pickpick

Yes.

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Erinreadsthebooks
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I love when a teacher requests a class set of this gem. Lots and lots of invaluable lessons in this book 💎😍🤗

BuriedNbooks Probably my all time fav book! 3y
33 likes1 comment
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Smrloomis
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Kindle deal 🎉 I read this years ago but remember it as very moving.

SledgeReader This has been on my TBR for ages! 4y
Smrloomis @SledgeReader I think you should read it 😆👍🏽 4y
62 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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OrangeMooseReads
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If you have not read this, you should. Kindle edition is $1.99 right now.

ReadingRachael Thanks for the heads up and recommendation! I‘m looking forward to reading it as it is now on my TBR. I was also happy to see that I was able to get it through Kobo for the same price :) 4y
OrangeMooseReads @elizaray 👍🏽 hope you like it. Glad you could get it in another format as well. 4y
32 likes2 comments
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goodbyefrancie
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My current #audiobooks on loan on #Overdrive. I'm addicted, and have one going all the time. I may also have three baskets of audio books in CD from the friends of the library sale...oops, I got a little carried away.
#Riotgrams
@bookriot

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DavidHoloman
Pickpick


The story of the white, mostly penniless lady who brought up her 12 black children to college educations and beyond is nothing short of remarkable. Many will find inspiration in her Christianity, I'm sure. I don't think I like the author very much; when he talks about himself rather than the Mom, the interest meter dips a lot. I don't think the presentation did justice to the underlying facts and facets of the remarkable story.

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GatheringBooks
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After being “on duty” on a Sunday from 830 am to 430 pm for my teacher-training institute‘s PostGraduate Fair, super late lunch and early dinner with my loves who make everything worthwhile: garlic snowing pizza, gorgonzola pizza with bleu cheese, and garlicholic rice (with garlic chips and bacon) - and yes one of the loveliest memoirs about mothers in the tagged book which I can not wait to read.

83 likes1 stack add
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GatheringBooks
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#ReadingResolutions Day 1: Here is my #MayTBR - top 3 are for my virtual book clubs, some of the titles are not known to me yet, Cutting For Stone is for #ReadAroundTheWorld and #LitWorld2018GB - #Ethiopia, the Henrietta Lacks is for my IRL book club, and tagged book is for our current reading theme on memoirs.

HeatherBookNerd Cutting for Stone is fantastic 👌🏼 5y
Cathythoughts Cutting for Stone is on my May list too 👍🏻❤️❤️ 5y
CouronneDhiver Cutting for Stone and Henrietta are both great! 👍 5y
See All 6 Comments
Lcsmcat What @CouronneDhiver said! I loved both those books. 5y
Tomigirl44 The color of water is one of my favoritest books! ❤️ 5y
BookishMe Verghese has been on my TBR and now may be a good time to tick it off. Then again, there are other gems to discover as well! 5y
86 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Grayc
Pickpick

This is a must read...a very interesting account of race, family...etc.

Grayc Thank you 5y
DivineDiana Welcome to Litsy! On my TBR! 5y
Mdargusch Hi 👋🏼👋🏼👋🏼. It was great to meet you today! 5y
9 likes1 stack add4 comments
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BeaG
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Pickpick

Great book! I enjoyed the set up. You hear mom's side of the story and it is written in italics. I didn't think I was going to like this book, but I couldn't put it down.

11 likes1 stack add
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Erinreadsthebooks
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Some students were turning these books back into the library earlier this week. I put a copy off to the side and have been reading it when I get a bit of down time throughout the day. I loved it when I read it in college but couldn't remember why. Rereading it now, I completely see why.

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Chrissyreadit
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Pickpick

One of my favorite books of all time! Have not seen in bookstore for years! Amazing biography and tribute. James McBride is so talented!

OneLitChick This book is so amazing! 5y
Yeah_I_Read I recommend this to people all the time! I ❤️❤️❤️ James McBride! 5y
OrangeMooseReads Love this book 5y
87 likes5 stack adds3 comments
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JackOBotts
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1. Too many...TGIF, SNICK, Saturday mornings on NBC...these were filled with shows I loved as a not quite tween.
2. I read the tagged memoir years ago and remember being moved...would love to reread.
3. Steak 🥩
4. My first book club meeting for the year! 📖
5. @Shenanakins - this is a fun way to get to know fellow Littens! 🤗
#friyayintro @jesshowbooks

OrangeMooseReads This is a great memoir. A former friend introduced me to it and I loved it. 5y
MallenNC I have that memoir on my shelf, and need to read it 5y
Avanders Oh yeah.. I'm not much of a steak 🥩 fan either 😋 5y
57 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Librosycafe
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Pickpick

Honestly, it's paradigm that makes you think about the serverity that race plays into any individual's life. Is it easy to raise Black children in a world of hate? It's beautifully written.💧

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DivineDiana
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Here's what I found at the Library book sale! $4.65! #bookhaul #lovealibrarybooksale #thebookgodswerelookingoutforme

Notafraidofwords The Hopefuls is so gossipy and just so much fun. 5y
DivineDiana @Notafraidofwords Looking forward to some fun! 🙂 5y
LauraBrook That's a great stack! 5y
See All 9 Comments
susanw A stack of winners! 5y
Caroline2 Oh the Fingersmith is sooo good! Defo 5 ⭐️ I read it in January and it is still my favourite book of the year! 👍🏻 5y
ValerieAndBooks Great stack! I read The Color of Water many years ago and really liked it. 5y
DivineDiana @susanw @LauraBrook @Caroline2 @ValerieAndBooks Thank you! Looking forward to some good reads! 5y
Lmstraubie Well done!👏👏👏 5y
DivineDiana @Lmstraubie These sales are so much fun! 5y
86 likes9 comments
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WanderingBookaneer
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83 likes6 stack adds
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britt_brooke
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This is a pretty good read. #BlackOrWhite #90sInJuly

Cinfhen I really liked this book a lot and a few years ago I sat next to James McBride at a wedding ~ he was absolutely charming 💗a great conversationalist 😄 5y
OrangeMooseReads I love this book. 5y
britt_brooke @Cinfhen No way! That's awesome! 💚 5y
See All 10 Comments
MaryAnn1 @Cinfhen, what incredible luck!! 5y
Cinfhen @MaryAnn1 @britt_brooke I know! I had to increase my wedding gift check 😉I felt like I scored the winning seat!!! 5y
bookhoarder513 I really liked this also. 5y
Zelma @Cinfhen that not only rocks but is hilarious. 👍😂 5y
Cinfhen Thanks @Zelma it was worth it....😁 5y
110 likes6 stack adds10 comments
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BookishMarginalia
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Revisiting

blankpagesofmine I have a Forrester too!! Great car!! 👍🏻 5y
LitHousewife That's one of my favorites! 5y
OrangeMooseReads Fantastic book 5y
114 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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spinesvines
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#ReadSoulLit Photo Challenge
Day 23 - Oldest on Your TBR!
⠀⠀⠀ ⠀
THE COLOR OF WATER has been on my to read list for over 5 years. I've heard so many great things about this book and need to find the time to read it. ⠀

#spinesvines #thecolorofwater #blackhistorymonth

9 likes1 stack add
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Wife
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Pickpick

I had some downtime at work tonight and finished this book. I so enjoy a good memoir. And the man my grandson was named after just happened to be mentioned!

33 likes2 stack adds
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youngreadrshelf
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I know this one isn't exactly #blackhistory, but I think it's an important look at race and religion. You can see how many times my copy has been read. #riotgrams @bookriot @Liberty

LitHousewife I loved this book so much. 6y
Suet624 This book...(sigh)....so good. 6y
44 likes6 stack adds2 comments
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Jlee745
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The color of water was my "person of color memoir" book. I really enjoyed the audiobook. #litseyreadingchallenge

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MSzyd
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Day 92: "I asked her if I was black or white. She replied 'You are a human being. Educate yourself or you'll be a nobody!'" #shoes by #bamboo from #modcloth

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Lwsmith
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Trouble in my world, so I'm visiting in someone else's. Really like the very start of this memoir. Fingers crossed!

BookishMarginalia That's a good one! 6y
9 likes1 comment
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sarahbellum
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"You're a human being. Educate yourself or you'll be a nobody!" #mommaknowsbest #education #diversity #mcbride #readdiversebooks

6 likes1 stack add
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cathysaid
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My #fictionnonfictionpairing is an author pairing. McBride's tribute to his mother is at turns sad and joyful, yet always heart-melting. The novel, The Good Lord Bird, is on my TBR shelf. It sounds wonderful. #fiction #nonfiction #SeasonsReadings2016

RealLifeReading Added! 6y
LauraBeth I ❤️ both of these books! Nice choices 👏 6y
31 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Avid_Layla
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When you're still upset about the election, so you buy some books to cheer you up 😄

#bookstorehaul #librarybooksale

BooksForYears Solid choices all! 📚👏🏼👏🏼 6y
Avid_Layla @BooksForYears Thanks! I can't wait to read them 💃 6y
14 likes1 stack add2 comments
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szack314
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Pickpick

This book has become one of my absolute favorites. Written by a black man with a white mother it really captures some of the challenges that come from being mixed race. I found myself relating to the characters and getting that feeling of oh I'm not the only one. I would highly recommend this book to anyone I know, but especially to people of mixed race because I feel it captures the experience of not quite knowing what you are really well.

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utterKATEness
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Pickpick

#booktober Day 11: #MemorableMemoir I read this book a while back and it absolutely floored me. I couldn't put it down! It's raw and honest and beautiful. By far the best memoir I've read.

28 likes3 stack adds