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Bi-Racialism In America

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While in the twenty-first century, biracialism and biculturalism are becoming increasingly common. Skin color and place of birth are no longer reliable signifiers of one's identity or origin. One of the most dominant is the struggle to figure out their identity. Henry Ford once stated,

"Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward."

Today, these some of the many experiences that youth face.

In The Color of Water, by James McBride, he remarkably switches between his voice and his mothers then back again. By using this method, one is able to comprehend where Ruth McBride (his mother) comes from mentally, physically and emotionally. In this bittersweet memoir, McBride deals with the asperity of growing up in a bourgeois, biracial family in which his tone changes due to his conflicting circumstances. While James experiences many difficulties which helped him keep his overall well being, his imagery and diction creates an in depth picture of how his words and vision helps distinguish the attitude between McBride and his mother's voice. In order to correlate his mother's voice, McBride has to retrace his mother's footsteps and memories While trying to understand what she (Ruth) goes through.

Although James will never fully comprehend the turmoil that his mother suffers, Ruth's drive and discipline helps her children to excel, as portrayed in her words of wisdom, "You don't need money. What's money if your mind is empty? Educate your mind!" (32-33). Ruth's sole purpose in life is educating her children, not only about school, but about their religion and faith as well. Not having a sturdy education herself, Ruth forces her children to succeed. However Ruth's unfortunate childhood experiences makes James unaware of his mother's background. As a result, James makes an effort to understand his mother's difficulties growing up a Jew. When writing his memoir

Since Ruth's family sat "shiva" (2) for her, Ruth is forced to take up Christianity as her religion. Solemnly Ruth's experiences as a Jew were dreadful, too. When Ruth teaches her children how to become independent and confident, her children learn to deal with racism and prejudice. Similarly a mother of biracial children who did an interview with Parenting Child Development states "I am well aware of racism in America and how subtle it's become. Although we like to think of ourselves as evolved, there are still many among us whose actions reveal attitudes about those they consider different from themselves"(1). Clearly, Ruth may have liked to see a change in the way biracial children are treated, however, people have not yet progressed in seeing or making that change happen.

One may believe that James learns in school that the United States is the heart of multi-ethnicity or multi-culturalism. Yet, the fact that many races and cultures could live together in one country is supposed to be that source of integrity and proof of our advancement. However, we still do not all get along! In an article "Interracial America", a young boy named Satra Wasserman experiences "more than the usual difficulties as a child growing up..." (1). While attending school Satra was labeled "Black Cupcake" and "Sir Oreo". Unfortunately, Satra experiences racism. At that moment, the author makes the reader feel that Satra is different from his classmates and that they want to hurt him. Satra fells terrified, because he had been unprepared for this type of experience. From this, Satra now, knows what racism fells like.

In 1991 The Gallop Poll found "the number of interracially married couples in the United States has gone from 150,000 couples in 1970 to 1.1 million in 1994 and the number of children born out of interracial marriages jumped from 460,300 in 1970 to 1.9 million in 1994.7"(2). The Gallop Poll also informs the public that "sixty-one percent of White Americans are more likely to approve of such marriages today, compared to



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