The Color of Water

by James McBride

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In The Color of Water, did Ruth have very few friends because she was white and attending a predominantly black school?

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The Color of Water by James McBride tells the story of his mother Ruth as she told it to him. She was born Ruchel Dwanra Zylska in Poland, but her family changed their name to Shilsky, and she became Rachel Deborah in order to fit in better with her peers. They were a Jewish family living in the South. In Suffolk, Virginia, there were not very many Jews but enough to support a synagogue and a rabbi--a role Rachel's father played for several years.

Rachel attended both Jewish schul, taught by her father, and regular school. She had only one friend, Frances, who was also white; however, the reason she had so few friends is because she was Jewish, not because she was a white student in a predominantly black school. The answer is false.

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