Dee has done a few things to show her family that she has created her own culture. One of the things she does is reject her birth-given name, a name that has been a family legacy and adopts a new name, Wangero. “‘No Mama,’ she says. ‘Not Dee, Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo’” (Walker, 1944, p. 318). Dee truly believes that this new African name is a part of her African heritage more appropriately. With the new name, she feels closer to what she feels her roots truly are. Dee further says that she couldn’t use a name that was used by the people who “oppressed” her, and at this point in the story, she has shown that she has rejected her family’s identity (Farrell, 1998). Dee also feels that her family’s heritage is dead and that her own mother and sister fail to realize it. Dee is dead to her and Wangero is whom she has become...
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...meaning and isn’t as dead as she thinks. “It was Grandma Dee and Big Dee who taught her to quilt herself” (Walker, 1944, p. 320). Mama explains to Dee that Maggie was taught to quilt by their grandmother. “Maggie has long been a part of the cross-generational sisterhood of quilting in her family” (Martin, 2014, p. 11). Dee has done her best to create what she thinks her culture should be while rejecting her family’s heritage and alienating herself from her sister and mother, failing to see that her own family’s legacy is rich in their own right. This is a story that shows the internal conflict that most African-Americans face. Most African-Americans are in search of their roots because their heritage was stripped away from them. Walker demonstrates the two types of heritage pass through the two daughters—Maggie’s respect for tradition and Dee’s pride (Farrell, 1998).
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