In chapter 12 of Second-Class Citizen, Adah experiences something of an epiphany. At this crucial stage in the story, she starts to think of herself as more of an individual rather than a mere appendage of an abusive husband. Availing herself of birth control advice from a doctor, as well as the writings of James Baldwin borrowed from a local library, she begins to get in touch with her identity as a Black woman. For Adah, this is a truly liberating experience.
Now that Adah has the means to take greater control over her own life, she starts to feel much more confident about herself. Thanks to her abusive relationship with Francis, Adah had always been lacking in confidence. But now that she's woken up to her femininity and her ethnic identity, whole vistas of opportunity have suddenly opened up that had previously been closed.
On the home front, Adah, though still very far from being emancipated, does at least become more assertive towards Francis, telling him that she'll follow his example and get a job from which she will keep all the money.
Adah's growing self-assertiveness is also manifested in her beginning to write a manuscript for a book called The Bride Price. Despite Patrick's best efforts, Adah now has the confidence to realize that she's an important person with something to say, and she intends to say it.