Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. And yet our house still looks and feels outdated. I feel that a lot of my weekend times are spent cleaning. Either way, it distracted the family from fighting for about 5 minutes, which was quite the relief! There was a lot of tension about the check coming in-- Walter and his business talk on the phone made Mama especially watchful. He talked on the phone "as privately as possible under Mama's gaze" (pg 54), but we all heard him say he's waiting on the check that isn't his.
Mama promises the check to go towards my college, and then of course towards other things. If he ever took Mama's rightful money and distributed it unevenly out of his selfishness, my entire future would be ruined.
It's funny how my Mama likes to keep herself 'in her place' and others like to keep themselves 'in their place' when she knows nothing about her own heritage and how they keep themselves 'in place'. When talking about Asagai, my African friend, Mama stated "I don't think I've ever met no African before" (pg 57), which just seems quite ignorant since it's all of our original heritage. Our identity has been so lost in oppression that she doesn't even see Africans as one of our kind! It just goes to show what a lack of education does to people. She calls them "heathens"...well, Africans ARE who WE are, same blood and everything. I guess she just glosses over the fact that they are the black people just like ourselves, and just believes they are somehow different than us.
In another unexpected event...
Ruth's pregnancy could not come at a worse time. No money, and her husband is trying a wonderfully destructive scheme to create a liquor store. Well, I never thought she had much brains-- I had the nerve to ask her, "Did you mean to?" (pg 59). Maybe that seems a little disrespectful, but if she had any brains the woman would not have allowed herself to get pregnant under such circumstances! I overheard she is contemplating killing the child, which in my mind is her own business at this point. Thankfully, I was saved by all this drama when my authentically-black friend came over!
I was so happy when Asagai came. I was tired of the "ghetto-itis" (pg 60) surrounding the entire household this morning. I was completely lost from the ghetto world as soon as I opened his present-- Nigerian robes! How lovely! I so wish to be more like the identity of my fellow African roots than the ghetto roots within America. They are so much sophisticated, filled with a beautiful culture rather than such a run down one.
As Asagai remembers, I was searching for my "identity" (pg 62), and although he still teases me about it, I feel I find it more and more within his culture than within the culture of my family. However, not even Asagai thinks I'm quite authentic enough: he thinks straightening my hair is "assimilating" (pg 63) myself with white folk. I hardly think so. Just because white folk have straight hair doesn't mean I straighten mine to look like them-- straight hair is just so much easier to manage! Sure, maybe it LOOKS more white, but my INTENTIONS are not to blend in. He's a sweet, smart man, but he teases too much, and wishes I'd be his American fling. Even though he states "it's American of me to say such a thing" against his proposition, I am not going to change my word just because he claims it "assimilates". My identity does not involve flinging, but does involve self-respect.
I am "Alaiyo", and this woman does not change herself for any one but herself.