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James remembers his mother in church, singing off-key. She was a devout Christian, and particularly enthusiastic about ministers, since her first husband had been an excellent reverend. James states: "as a boy I knew God was all-powerful because of Mommy's utter deference to Him." The only time he ever saw her cry was in church. Her tears worried him, but she said that she was crying because God made her happy. When he asked her point-blank if God was black or white, she answered that he had no color - he's a spirit: "God is the color of water. Water doesn't have a color."