But unlike Maggie, who uses the butter churn to make butter, Dee wants to treat them like antiques or artwork.
But unlike Maggie, who uses the butter churn to make butter, Dee wants to treat them like antiques or artwork.Dee also tries to claim some handmade quilts, and she fully assumes she'll be able to have them because she's the only one who can "appreciate" them.Dee seems unable to separate her new-found cultural identity from her own long-standing need to feel superior to her mother and sister.
Dee then leaves, chiding the mother for not understanding her own heritage and encouraging Maggie to "make something of yourself." After Dee is gone, Maggie and the narrator relax contentedly in the back yard.
For Dee, heritage is a curiosity to be looked at—something to put on display for others to observe, as well: She plans to use the churn top and dasher as decorative items in her home, and she intends to hang the quilts on the wall "[a]s if that was the only thing you She even treats her own family members as curiosities, taking numerous photos of them.
Mama breaks out of her reverie to explain the realities of her life.
Unlike the slim and lighter-skinned fantasy of herself on the Johnny Carson Show, Mama has darker skin and is big boned, wearing overalls rather than feminine clothing.
Summary The story begins with Mama waiting in the yard for her eldest daughter Dee to return.
Mama’s yard is an extension of her living room: the dirt ground flows into the small shack without separation.Dee and her companion boyfriend arrive with bold, unfamiliar clothing and hairstyles, greeting Maggie and the narrator with Muslim and African phrases.Dee announces that she has changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo, saying that she couldn't stand to use a name from oppressors.In fact, there were a lot of small sinks; you could see where thumbs and fingers had sunk into the wood." The quilts, made from scraps of clothing and sewn by multiple hands, epitomize this "lived experience." They even include a small scrap from "Great Grandpa Ezra's uniform that he wore in the Civil War," which reveals that members of Dee's family were working against "the people who oppress[ed]" them long before Dee decided to change her name.For Maggie, the quilts are reminders of specific people, not of some abstract notion of heritage.When the mother describes snatching the quilts away from Dee, she refers to her as "Miss Wangero," suggesting that she's run out of patience with Dee's haughtiness.After that, she simply calls her Dee, fully withdrawing her gesture of support.This decision hurts her mother, who named her after a lineage of family members.During the visit, Dee lays claim to certain family heirlooms, such as the top and dasher of a butter churn, whittled by relatives.But as Dee becomes more and more selfish and difficult, the narrator starts to withdraw her generosity in accepting the new name.Instead of "Wangero (Dee)," she starts to refer to her as "Dee (Wangero)," privileging her original given name.