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Ruth was a product of a childhood filled with racial tension. She is a white Jew who marries a black man. Her family disowns her and Ruth is forever caught between three worlds of the Jewish world, the white world, and the black world. Her children are interracial. Ruth tries to steer them away from obsessing about race and color. To Ruth, God was the "color of water." She wanted her kids to work hard and get an education regardless of race and racial stereotypes.