James McBride describes his large and unique family and upbringing in his memoir/autobiography, The Color of Water. There were twelve children in the household, including him. He was the youngest in the first set of eight that Ruth, his mother, had with her first husband, Andrew "Dennis" McBride. They were Dennis, Rosetta, Billie, David, Helen, Richie, Dorothy and James. After he passed away, she remarried and had four more children with her second husband, Hunter Jordan. They were Kathy, Judy, Hunter, and Henry. Mr. Jordan also had an older daughter from a previous relationship, Jack, who all of the younger children looked up to and visited from time to time. What is remarkable about all of these children is that despite the hardships they endured, they all persevered and grew up to be well-educated and successful.