Why does Richie stop going to church in The Color of Water?

mkcapen1 | Student

In the book The Color of Water the mother and stepfather have brought the children up in the church.  They take the children to church on Sundays and are very spiritual.  It is the era of the Black Panther movement.  Richie is the rebellious child who stands up for black rights and commits minor acts of vandalism.  He is attractive and the girls all like him.

Richie questions everything about his faith and one Sunday at Sunday school he notices that Jesus is white in the picture in his Bible study book.  He asks the Reverend what color Jesus is and he is told he is all colors.  He asks him if Jesus is all colors, why is he white in the pictures.  The Reverend gets sweaty and wipes his brow and can not find a good answer.  Richie decides he is done with religion and church and walks out. 

Richie said: "Naw. If they put Jesus in this picture here, and He ain't white, and He ain't black, they should make Him gray.  Jesus should be gray." (53)