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"Ruth made sure much of her children's history was hidden from them. Much of her reasoning had to do with the heavy racial overtones of her upbringing. Ruth strove to shield her kids from the ethnic and cultural racial devisions that plagued her life and self-identity. When James asked his mom what colour God was, she told him he was the colour of water hence God was free of ethnicity, God was everyone. The kids, including James, lacked a sense of identity which they strive to connect with through the whole novel."