Written by a black man about his white Jewish mother, this is just a fascinating book. An incredibly strong woman, Ruth McBride Jordan was widowed twice, lived in poverty in the “projects” and with no particular skill other than tenacity and a strong faith, managed to raise a dozen children who have college degrees and excel in their fields. She never admitted to being white (“I’m light-skinned,” she’d say) or told them anything about her background until this adult son pried it out of her in old age. The book bounces back and forth between the author’s childhood and his mother’s and both are amazing. Lots of conflicts and lots of love.
One afternoon on the way home from church I asked her whether God was black or white.
A deep sigh. “Oh, boy…God’s not black. He’s not white. He’s a spirit.”
“What’s a spirit?”
“A spirit’s a spirit.”
“What color is God’s spirit?”
“It doesn’t have a color,” she said, “God is the color of water. Water doesn’t have a color.”
Isn’t that a wonderful way to put it?