Bouncing Betty – a type of land mine used in Vietnam; it detonated when someone removed a foot from it, blowing up the victim when the danger seemed to have passed
1. In writing of the anniversary celebration of the New Brown Memorial Church, James sums up his immediate family’s history as follows: “The old-timers at New Brown used to say God honored Rev. McBride. The man died without a penny, yet his children grew up to graduate from college, to become doctors, professors, teachers, and professionals all. It was the work, they said, of none other than Jesus Christ Himself” (McBride 251). Explain what this quote means.
2. What mistakes did the new minister of the New Brown church make?
3. Why does the author compare his mother’s memory to a Bouncing Betty?
4. Recount Ruth’s speech at the church’s anniversary dinner.
Chapter 25 – “Finding Ruthie” (Answer FIVE questions)
haute cuisine – French term meaning highly styled food, or by extension, the top of the line
1. This chapter contains a long discourse on the author’s coming to terms with his own identity and race. Summarize his outlook.
2. What is the author’s educational background, and what has he done professionally?
3. How does the author characterize the world of reporting?
4. What was his alternative to work as a reporter?
5. Why did the author want to write a book with his mother?
6. Describe Ruth’s life after her children grew up.
7. In August 1993, Ruth returned to Suffolk, Virginia, the town where she grew up. Describe this visit.
8. Why does the author list Ruth’s children and their education?
9. How does he describe his mother’s power now that her family is grown?
Part II: Vocabulary: Match each word with its correct definition.