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A common reaction is what to make of Dee's (Wangero's) new take on life. She has embraced her African heritage, but she has dismissed her American heritage. It is admirable that she has taken such a keen interest in her African heritage but is this interest purely genuine? It seems that part of her interest has to do with being fashionable. Dee has always been successful and fashionable and modern. Is her interest in modern femininity and African culture a result of her independence and interest in civil rights? Or is it based on being trendy?
For instance, the only reason she wants the quilts is to show them as pieces of art. She doesn't value them for their practical use, their cultural application. We (readers) might speculate that she has similarly shallow ways of appreciating her African heritage. Note that Hakim-a-barber won't eat certain foods (for religious or political reasons). Wangero eats anything that is there. This might support the idea that while she claims to embrace a modern, African cultural identity, she is not as committed or certainly not as militant as Hakim. In other words, does really embody and practice this new heritage or is she being trendy and really only adopting this heritage in words?
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