The story takes place in the late 1960's, a time of growing cultural awareness for African-Americans. If the story were set in the present, would the conflict within the family be different? Explain your answer.  

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Right now, race and race relations are common topics in the news. But, it is not as dramatic and turbulent as it was during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. That being said, there are some common developments. The "Black Lives Matter" movement is in step with those previous civil rights groups. And that includes a growing need for some kind of solidarity among African-Americans. This is what Dee was attempting to convey to her mother and sister. The problem is that she went about it in a superficial way. She flaunted her new passion for African culture in a way that made it seem like something trendy (or trending). And she looked down upon her mother's and sister's way of living.

If this confrontation between Dee and her family occurred today, I think the conflict would be much the same. Although Dee is trying to empower and modernize her mother and sister, she is condescending in doing so. And she mocks her family heritage with her intent to display the quilts like artifacts of a more primitive time period.

However, if we assume that Mrs. Johnson and/or Maggie have access to cell phones and/or the internet, it is possible that they would be more aware of the injustices that the Black Lives Matter movement has been protesting against. In that case, they might be more receptive to modern changes Dee might suggest. But even if that were the case, Mrs. Johnson and Maggie would still be insulted by Dee's flippant treatment of their way of life.

 

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