The story takes place in a rural area of Georgia where Maggie and her mother have continued to live in their impoverished home. Dee had left home to go to college in Augusta, Georgia, with the financial help of her hard-working mother and their church. It is Dee's coming home for a visit that provides the inciting incident for the narrative. Dee's assuming a new African name and her enthusiasm for embracing her African heritage suggests the time period to be that of the late 1960s or early 1970s. The story was published in 1973.