McBride discusses 'The Color of Water'

Friday, January 9, 2005By Linda S. Mah 388-8546

This year's Reading Together program expects a shot in the arm from a two-day visit by author and musician James McBride.

McBride is the author of the memoir "The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother."

The memoir is the 2005 selection for Reading Together, a program that encourages everyone in the community to read and discuss the same book.

McBride will be in Kalamazoo for a lecture on March 9 at Fresh Fire AME Church, 302 Academy St., and for a concert on March 10 at First Baptist Church, 315 W. Michigan Ave. During his stay in Kalamazoo, he also will talk with area high school students and will visit the Kalamazoo County Juvenile Home.

"Because of the nature of the book and how he talks about his life and transforming experiences at critical times in his youth, his goal and our goal is to have as many young people as possible exposed to his visit," said Joan Hawxhurst, coordinator of Reading Together.

"The Color of Water" tells McBride's story of being one of 12 biracial children raised by a Jewish woman who hid her racial identity from her family. The book was on The New York Times best-seller list for two years and has been a popular choice among community reading programs.

Reading Together's official reading period kicks off Feb. 14, when discussion groups and programs begin.

The Kalamazoo Public Library, which coordinates the program, will begin distributing free tickets to McBride's lecture and concert on Feb. 14. On that day Athena Book Shop will sell copies of the book at the Kalamazoo Public Library and will gift-wrap them for free. Refreshments will be served.

© 2005 Kalamazoo. Used with permission

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