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The American Heritage Dictionary defines identity as the distinct personality of an individual Many factors make up ones identity such as race ones relationship with society and religion People seek other people who with they can identify One must interact with others and learn from his interests and their responses to find a suitable group The process of finding a group allows one to discover his own identity Through The Color of Water James McBride demonstrates that one perceives his identity through feedback from others as well as through his own thoughts and emotions One aspect of identity where feedback can be given almost instantaneously is race as it involves a persons skin color Young children often ignore each others races unless they are taught or given reason to do otherwise McBrides race came to his attention at an early age He noticed that both black people and white people stared at his white mother with her black family letting him know that his family was different from what was considered normal and acceptable by society Comparing skin color with his mother he noticed that her skin was white while his was black He became confused about his own color and uncomfortable with the fact that his mother was white He wanted to be accepted by others and he thought that life would be easier if his family was just one color black or white 103 McBride became aware of his race at a younger age than most children While he was comparing skin color with others I was unconcerned about my race because people of similar skin color surrounded me I was aware of black people but because most people that were around me were white I never felt alienated because of my race Also my family was made up of one race so I did not share McBrides confusion about his color Because of his uncertainty he was unsure of how he
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