Everyday Essay

404 WordsMay 17, 20132 Pages
Dee's interest in her heritage can only be described as a passing fad. Only the monetary value of the things she wishes to take mean anything to her. She does not have the skills to use the churn top nor make quilts, such as the ones Mama wishes to give to Maggie. Mama and Maggie have, cherish and use these skills every day, using their heritage. Dee does not see the practical uses of the churn top and the quilts; she sees dollar signs and a rise in social status. She knows virtually nothing of the families past and doesn’t really care. She rejects all the things that are her true heritage in favor of objects, icons that represent things she can not even begin to understand. She is not alone in this; most people who claim to know their heritage know very little. Heritage is not something learned, it is something done, something experienced. Heritage is not an old uniform someone’s many-times-great-grandfather wore in the American revolution, it is uncle Mel telling stories about his boy hood, and the kids getting into trouble. It is Grandma making triple-chocolate fudge, kids playing in the yard and Grandpa working in the barn. Heritage is cousin Vinny fixing cars and going to a strip bar afterwards with some old army buddies. Ones past is not ones heritage, it is ones on going present and the lessons taken from ones experiences. Dee despises the old house she grew up in, she is ashamed of the yard and of her mother and sisters way of living. She despises the skills that created the very things she wants. Ironic is it not? Mama and Maggie mean nothing to her. Dee claims to be the epitome of knowledge about her culture and heritage, yet she knows nothing, she rejects her past, her family, her own name even. Wangaro is the “heritage” name she chooses, which is funny because Wangaro is a West African name, and her ancestors in all likely hood came east Africa.

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