A direct characterization refers to a direct comment made about a character's external or internal attributes. A reader, when given direct characterizations, knows exactly who the character is. The reader does not have to infer about the character based upon indirect characterizations (where attributes and characteristics are hidden).
On page three of Sharon M. Draper's Tears of a Tiger, Draper provides a direct characterization of Andy (Andrew Jackson) through a conversation between Andy and Rob (Robert Washington). During a locker room conversation, the boys are discussion their basketball skills. Andy states that he is a "superstar shooter and lover to the ladies." The "superstar shooter" defines Andy using direct characterization. This phrase tells readers that Andy is a good basketball player. "Lover to the ladies" can be looked at as either direct or indirect characterization. Depending upon the reader's knowledge of slang used to describe playboys, Andy's confession of being a "ladies' man" may be easily understood (direct characterization) or in need of explanation (indirect characterization).