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In "Everyday Use," why did Dee change her name to Wangero?

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capicorn27 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 16, 2009 at 6:50 AM via web

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In "Everyday Use," why did Dee change her name to Wangero?

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 16, 2009 at 7:11 AM (Answer #1)

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After going away to college, Dee creates a new life for herself and tries to create a new personal identity. She changes her name in an attempt to identify with her African heritage and to leave behind the life into which she had been born. She rejects her own heritage as a black American and her mother's daughter.

Dee's behavior reflects the social movement of the 1960s and 1970s in which the ideas of  "black pride" or Black Nationalism, developed from the struggle for civil rights, were adopted by some Americans of African descent. Malcom X, one influential leader in the African-American community, encouraged his followers to abandon their "slave names," in favor of African names that reflected pride in their heritage. This theme is also found in A Raisin in the Sun through the character of Beneatha.

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