Traditions Essay

712 Words3 Pages
Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use," focuses on two sisters that grew up together under identical conditions, but developed into two distinct individuals with different views on the past, present, and future, and the mother who has to make a decision as to which sister will a family heirloom would be passed to. This short story impresses upon the reader the importance of tradition and heritage and the story suggest that children should appreciate their heritage as it is passed down. To many African Americans racial identity in American society can be perplexing because membership in the group has its own unique culture, traditions, and heritage. Today in the African American community the thought of passing possessions down from one generation to another, either articles or tradition is not considered important to many in the understanding the value of cultural heritage as it plays a role in the identity of a people. In the years preceding the 1960’s and 1970’s, particularly the enslavement years, the many different tribes of Africans that were bought to America did not share the same language, but they all shared the same condition, bondage! In an exchange between the mother and one of her daughters there is a disconnect in the past and present, the mother is still holding onto the past and the traditions found there and the daughter is embracing the present seemingly wanting to dismiss her past, “Well, I say . “Dee” “No” Mamma she says. ‘Not “Dee,’ Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo!” “What happened to ‘Dee’? I wanted to know “She’s dead, “I couldn’t bear it any longer being named after people who oppressed me” (Walker 164). It is clear the daughter feels her racial identity is fixed on the importance of changing her name from the traditional one given to her, the name that was also her grandmothers and embracing a name that she feels is more indicative, of her

More about Traditions Essay

Open Document