An unforgettable memoir about a mixed-race Jewish woman who, after 15 years of estrangement from her racist great-aunt, helps bring her home when Alzheimer’s strikes
In 1970, three-day-old Marra B. Gad was adopted by a white Jewish family in Chicago. For her parents, it was love at first sight - but they quickly realized the world wasn’t ready for a family like theirs.
Marra’s biological mother was unwed, white, and Jewish, and her biological father was black. While still a child, Marra came to realize that she was “a mixed-race, Jewish unicorn.” In black spaces, she was not “black enough” or told that it was okay to be Christian or Muslim but not Jewish. In Jewish spaces, she was mistaken for the help, asked to leave, or worse. Even in her own extended family, racism bubbled to the surface.
Marra’s family cut out those relatives who could not tolerate the color of her skin - including her once beloved, glamorous, worldly Great-Aunt Nette. After they had been estranged for 15 years, Marra discovers that Nette has Alzheimer’s and that only she is in a position to get Nette back to the only family she has left. Instead of revenge, Marra chooses love and watches as the disease erases her aunt’s racism, making space for a relationship that was never possible before.
The Color of Love explores the idea of yerusha, which means “inheritance” in Yiddish. At turns heart-wrenching and heartwarming, this is a story about what you inherit from your family - identity, disease, melanin, hate, and, most powerful of all, love. With honesty, insight, and warmth, Marra B. Gad has written an inspirational, moving chronicle proving that, when all else is stripped away, love is where we return and love is always our greatest inheritance.
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- Barrington S. Mann III
Sad but so important, a must read
this book was a stark reminder that racism is far from eliminated from our society, even living within families. How the author rises above the pain is so impressive, and how she is able to read aloud about these difficult moments of her life is bravery itself