Everyday Use Characters

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Asalamalakim

See Hakim-a-barber

Hakim-a-barber

Hakim-a-barber is Dee's boyfriend who accompanies her on her visit back home. Though he has grown his hair long in an African style that identifies him with the black power movement, he refuses to eat collard greens and pork at dinner— traditional African-American foods. This minor character's name is perhaps his most significant feature. Mrs. Johnson confusedly accepts his black Muslim greeting, "Asalamalakim," as his name, and "Hakim-a-barber" is her guess at the pronunciation of what he tells her to call him. This confusion signals the gap between black nationalist ideas and rural African-American life.

Dee Johnson

Dee is Mrs. Johnson's oldest daughter; the one who has always been determined, popular, and successful. Upon returning home after escaping her impoverished home life and forging a new identity at college, one which ostensibly celebrates her African heritage, Dee tells her mother that "Dee is dead," and...

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This section contains 468 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Everyday Use Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Everyday Use from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.