The Color of Water

Explain what McBride meant by his mother’s bicycle riding, “typified her whole existence to me."


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James loved his mother but also found he eccentric. After the death of her second husband Ruth began riding her bike through the neighbourhood. A white woman on a bicycle stood out in a black neighbourhood. Ruth Knew she was different and she didn't hide it. The bicycle also became a symbol of movement which Ruth embraced. Movement and change meant hope for a better day. This constant movement also meant life. James' home life was a steady stream of movement with so many children. For Ruth, this movement meant energy to move forward be it in her kids or on her bike.