Gay Marrigaes Essay

Passage 1: “My parents were nonmaterialistic. They believed that money without knowledge was worthless, that education tempered with religion was the way to climb out of poverty in America, and over the years they were proven right. ” (29) Response: James’ mother was always consistent in saying that money means nothing. School and Church was all you really needed to succeed. His mother was deeply religious and her and her kids went to church every Wednesday and every Sunday. Her kids went until they were old enough to decide for themselves that they didn’t want to go.

But over the years, they all turned to God and turned to school and they all became doctors, teachers, and psychologists. Being passionate about God and Education is what got them where they are today. Passage 2: “We were all clearly black, of various shades of brown, some light brown, some medium brown, some very light-skinned, and all of us had curly hair. Mommy was, by her own definition, “light-skinned” a statement which I had initially accepted as fact but at some point later decided was not true.

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My best friend Billy Smith’s mother was as light as Mommy and had red hair to boot, but there was no doubt in my mind that Billy’s mother was black and my mother was not. There was something inside me, an ache I had, like a constant itch that got bigger and bigger as I grew that told me. It was in my blood, you might say, and however the notion got there, it bothered me greatly. Yet Mommy refused to acknowledge her whiteness. ” (22-23) Response: James’ mother, Ruth, did not like to acknowledge her white side. She didn’t like the way the white man acted.

The way the black man acted was far different, more loving than the white man. Blacks didn’t care if you were black or white. They accepted everyone. Ruth’s family considered her dead to them because she married a black man. Dennis’ family, a black family, accepted her, unlike Ruth’s family. Passage 3: “The biggest event Suffolk had seen in years was a traveling sideshow that came through town on the railroad tracks, with stuffed whale in a boxcar. The folks loved that. They loved anything different, or new, or from out of town, except for Jews.

In school the kids called me “Christ killer” and “Jew baby. ” That name stuck with me for a long time. You know it’s so easy to hurt a child” (40) Response: Ruth lived a very hard life; not only with her family, but with people she was neighbors with and went to school with. She was easily hurt and wanted to be accepted by everyone. She’d only be fully accepted if she were Christian. I think you could say that she had it almost as bad as the blacks did. Passage 4: “I turned away, but not before Frances saw my tears. She got out of line herself but I waved her away. “Frances, you go on in,” I said. Don’t miss the ceremony because of me. ” She went in. She has to wipe the tears from her own face, but she got back in line and marched through the ceremony alone. She sat through the graduation ceremony next to my empty seat. ” (158) Response: Ruth felt like she couldn’t go into the church for her graduation ceremony because she was Jewish. Anything that was considered “gentile” they were not allowed to do. Ruth felt that she was letting her mother down if she went into that church. She didn’t want her father to get mad at her and she didn’t want to be dead to her family.

Passage 5: “One Saturday morning in 1973, a few weeks after I got back from Louisville, and just a few months after my stepfather passed away, Mommy woke me up and said, “We’re going driving. ” She thrust my two-year-old niece Z—that was her name, just place Z—into my arms and we headed out to Daddy’s car. ” Response: Ruth was going to drive the car because they needed to use a car to get around, and it was also an attempt to get over the death of her husband. She used to know how to drive, but she left that part of her life behind her. She closed that door and she was opening a new one, trying to drive her husband’s car.

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