On Friday, February 15th, author James McBride visited County Prep High School to speak with students in Ms. Kristyne Singer's Literature class and Ms. Taryn Ashe's Creative Writing class. Many of the students read McBride's bestselling book The Color of Water and prepared questions specifically about the work. Other students were curious to know more about his writing process. The author began his talk about his youth, his mother -- the inspiration for The Color of Water -- and his work in his community. He also mentioned his connection to Ms. Singer and her family. McBride met Bill Singer when he came to Singer’s New York City office to get his instrument repaired. James was playing saxophone professionally, and after being on the road he needed some adjustments to his instrument. This is bread and butter to a player - if the horn doesn’t work, neither do you. Singer repaired his saxophone and so began a relationship that has spanned more than 30 years. At the time, McBride was looking for an office space where he could do his writing, and Singer had an open room; what took place on 43rd St. and 10th Avenue has now become history. McBride wrote while listening to the sounds of many a saxophone player. During their collaboration, the two would exchange ideas. From this environment emerged McBride’s first book, The Color of Water, as well as many other acclaimed works. After 30 years, their friendship remains solid, and is a testament to a true tale of New York City.
The students and faculty in attendance are grateful to Mr. McBride for taking time out of his busy schedule to join them for an inspirational morning chat.