Stop the Rain

“Yes, and it’s raining. Each moment is like this—before it can be known, categorized as similar to another thing and dismissed, it has to be experienced, it has to be seen. What did he just say? Did she really just say that? Did I hear what I think I heard? Did that just come out of my mouth, his mouth, her mouth? The moment stinks. Still you want to stop looking at the trees. You want to walk out and stand among them. And as light as the rain seems, it still rains down on you.” (Rankine, 9). This paragraph was extremely powerful to me because the rain represents the microaggression that people deal with on a daily basis but don’t speak up. The narrator wants to walk out and stand among those who are dealing with the same issues as her but then she mentions that “as light as the rain seems, it still rains down on you” which I interpreted as her saying that the rain, being the racism, may seem like it’s just misunderstandings and slight mistakes people make without even realizing, are affecting her day to day but aren’t big enough to bring up and make a scene about. In this paragraph she says that there will only be an end to this when everyone experiences this for themselves, when we sit back and actually think about what we say and mean. Examples of this are thrown at us all throughout the first section of Citizen. One example is on page 7 when the narrator felt hurt about being called the same name as her friends housekeeper. She couldn’t even tell whether she was more hurt because it was an “‘all black people look the same’ moment or because you are being confused with another after being so close to this other?” (Rankine, 7). Yet the narrator doesn’t speak up about this mistake, and neither does her friend who eventually stopped doing this but never acknowledged the mistake. Another example of micro aggression in Citizen is on page 15 when the narrators neighbor calls the police on the narrators friend who the neighbor assumed was “not the nice young man that he’s met” but an intruder pacing around the front of the house. When the narrator finally comes home she is greeted with only her friend and her apologetic neighbor. The problem in this passage was when the narrator says that the friend should have been speaking on the phone where he might have been safe, even though he was causing no actual threat to anyone in his surroundings instead of facing the real problem which was the neighbor who didn’t mind his business and assumed the worst.

The first section of Citizen includes many different scenarios of racist interactions. The memories are written in second-person point of view to allow the reader to experience them and be able to step into the narrators shoes, instead of just reading through it. When first reading through all the scenarios you may pass right through them and think of them as simple misunderstandings or mistakes but as the section progresses, so does the anger and negativity of these scenarios. You begin to no longer accept these “misunderstandings” as just misunderstandings but as unacceptable racism that just so happens to be passed through because we let it. That is called microaggression. Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental insults whether intentional or unintentional which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target people based solely upon their race, gender, or culture. 

On the very first page of the section, a memory is told about how the narrator has barely spoken to a girl in her class who has asked to cheat off of her. “You never really speak except for the time she makes her request and later when she tells you you smell good and have features like a white person. You assume she thinks she is thanking you for letting her cheat and feels better cheating from an almost white person” (Rankine, 5). This quote was especially eye catching to me because it is a memory from when she was very young in her life, and was already dealing with microaggression from one of her classmates who probably doesn’t even know she’s saying something wrong. However, the classmate stated that the narrator has “features like a white person” after thanking her for letting her cheat. The narrator stated that she assumed she felt better cheating off of someone who has features “almost like a white person.” Do you think the classmate knew what she meant to say?


  1. What are ways that Rankine could have prevented further abuse from those around her?
  2. Do you think microaggression can really be unintentional or does it define who we are when it comes to certain scenarios?

Diversity in Academics

As much as I hate to admit it, diversity in academics is very rare. Only recently have steps been taken to include more diverse perspectives in everyday classes. This is a fantastic step in the right direction— but it isn’t the full journey. Even the diversity that has been introduced to our classes is limited.  Speaking from personal experience, as the years go by, I have been assigned more and more literature written by black authors. This is great! 100 years ago, this would not have been heard of. Heck, it was unheard of 34 years ago when Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference was copyrighted. In it, Lorde comments, “The literature of women of Color is seldom included in women’s literature courses and almost never in other literature courses, nor in women’s studies as a whole. All too often, the excuse given is that the literatures of women of Color can only be taught by Colored women, or that they are too difficult to understand, or that classes cannot ‘get into’ them because they come out of experiences that are ‘too different.’ I have heard this argument presented by white women of otherwise quite clear intelligence, women who seem to have no trouble at all teaching and reviewing work that comes out of the vastly different experiences of Shakespeare, Moliere, Dostoyefsky, and Aristophanes.” (117)

The situation is quite simple. If you can teach Shakespeare, you can teach Maya Angelou, Alex Walker, and Lorraine Hansberry. If you can talk about Shakespeare’s life and how he rose to fame, you can talk about the significant evidence that he was bisexual. If you can make high schoolers read thinly-veiled phallic humor, you can make them read about the experiences of a transman. It’s not a question of if you can, it is a question of if you have.

You can not expect women of Color to educate you on their own work, or the work of other women of Color. To put the burden of education on their shoulders is wrong— it is not their job to teach us how they have been oppressed. There is no reason that a white woman can not learn— and therefore, teach— about the oppression a Woman of Color faces. However, a line must be drawn. White women can teach about the experiences of a Woman of Color, but they must be careful not to appropriate these experiences and claim them as their own. You can not fully understand what you have never experienced, and it is cruel to appropriate another’s experiences for your own personal gain. It hurts those you are trying to help— those you are trying to understand.  

In the same sense, do not erase their anger. The oppressed have every right to be angry at their oppressor. This anger is strong and ancient. It will not disappear because of half-hearted apologies. Still, it is important that this anger is used in constructive ways. Do not be afraid of anger, “[f]or it is not the anger of Black women which is dripping down over this globe like a diseased liquid”(Lorde, 285). To quote Lorde, “ Anger is an appropriate reaction to racist attitudes, as is fury when the actions arising from those attitudes do not change.” (282) I would argue that not only is anger reasonable, it should be encouraged. Or, at least, it should be encouraged when it is the kind of anger that motivates you to produce change. Purposeless anger and guilt are worthless— feeling bad does not change the world. Actions that stem from such feelings is what changes it.

The question remains— what can we do to write these wrongs? In the words of my friend Ron, “We can take baby-steps.” Do your classes lack diversity? Encourage the teachers to pick up new authors and topics (as long as they fit the curriculum). Become a teacher yourself. Teach the lessons you wish you were taught. Become an author. Write about your unique experiences. Listen, rally with, and help your fellow people. Most importantly, be a better you.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”- Mahatma Gandhi

  1. What would you define as “purposeful anger” and how does Lorde show this in her work?
  2. What does Lorde suggest we do to rectify the lack of diversity in academics?

White Feminism as an Oppressor of Women

In her writing Age Race Class and Sex: Women Redifning Difference, Audre Lorde profoundly writes of (white) feminism: “There is a pretense to a homogeneity of experience, covered by the word sisterhood that does not in fact exist.”(116) Both homogeneity and a sisterhood  are non existent because–as she proceeds to examine—a sisterhood cannot exist under the pretense of homogeneity. “As white women ignore their built-in privilege of whiteness and define woman in terms of their own experience alone, then women of Color become “other,” the outsider whose experience and tradition is too “alien” to comprehend.””(117) Something Lorde highlights throughout the text is that it is the differences within feminine identit(ies) are not only to be celebrated, but that in understanding these differences there is an advantage that could lead to true progress. Denying room for difference is to deny room for progress.

At this day in age, the feminist agenda continues to be full of shortcomings involving the exclusion of women of Color in the name of fearful white-guilt. White guilt is one of the pillars upholding our countries modern institutionalized oppression, a notion from which delusional ideas such as a ‘post racial society’ or being ‘color blind’ were born. “Some problems we share as women, some we do not. You fear your children will grow up to join the patriarchy and testify against you, we fear our children will be dragged from a car and shot down in the street, and you will turn your backs upon the reasons they are dying.” (119)  This excerpt follows a point Lorde makes involving this willful ignorance of white women upholding the patriarchy and in turn oppressing women.  Lorde states: “For white women there is a wider range of pretended choices and rewards for identifying with patriarchal power and its tools.” She continues to name points of seduction to align with the patriarchy, suggesting that if white women “…hate the right people, and marry the right man, then you will be able to coexist with the patriarchy in relative peace…”. This holds true for modern feminism as is has since women joined the work force.

The white-toxic masculinity that we hear commonly  used in progressive rhetoric involving social reform extends to women as well in these areas of which Lorde addresses. White toxic feminism mirrors it exactly. For instance, white women taught to adopt practices of climbing social ladders and advance oneself in the workplace by tearing other women down by highlighting what makes you better than they are.  Lorde concludes “The old patterns, no matter how cleverly rearranged to imitate progress, still condemn us to cosmetically altered repetitions of the same old exchanges, the same old guilt, hatred, recrimination, lamentation, and suspicion.” (123) Here she summarizes one of the key points of the essay, the refusal to use history as a means of learning how to make real progress. To divide and conquer may be an effective means of dismantling a corrupt power, but it is also the most heavily used tool of the patriarchal structure in suppressing the feminist movement. By ignoring racist actions and by excluding the voices and experiences of Colored women, the feminist movement is no movement at all.

Two questions I propose are:

What parts of the text stuck out to you and reminded you of something you’ve either observed or participated in that could have been oppressing to women of Color?

How does Lorde address the issues surrounding  the so-called ‘progressive movements’ that prevent progress from happening?

Audre Lorde, “Age, Race, Class and Sex: Women Redefining Difference,” in Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches. (Freedom, CA: Crossing Press, 1984).

Panel Assessment

The panel of the four professors was so much more than I bargained for. With Professor Daniel Radus as the moderator, the speakers all gave great personal insight into how they teach, without losing the uniqueness of their personalities. It was interesting to see the inner clockworks of how my current and future professors process their jobs. Personally, I had so much fun listening to Professor Jackson. As a video game buff, it was fascinating to me hearing how he incorporated his passion into his work. Just by listening to him speak, I felt engulfed by his tone of voice, and could hear his joy in talking about his work; that is something I hope to accomplish when I start to teach. The concept of unlocking new tasks just like you would unlock levels or gear in a video game is a genius way to make a classroom environment more relatable. I feel that students will accomplish more with that goal in mind to get to the end if the game and makes the work load more fun. Another panelist I loved to listen to was Laura Dunbar. As a musician, with a trained ear, I never realized how much environment sounds can sway a classroom. The way she described her audible and visual cues in a classroom will be something that sticks with me when I one day have my own classroom. Another interesting factor was having Professor Danica Savonick on the panel. Since I have her as a professor, her panel insight helped me recognize the parallels in what she was saying and how she handles herself in the classroom. It was also cool to learn about what she was working on outside of my English 252 course, and how it also drives her lessons in class. Overall the panel was very persuasive and helped me understand what it takes to be an educator. Furthermore, I am glad I went because my learnings from this panel have altered my understanding of how to run a classroom.

The Ghosts of new beginnings

They tell you it’s not real, they tell you don’t be scared. But is it really the ghosts you’re scared of, or is it your lack of knowledge about their placement?

In Hansberry’s “A Woman Warrior”, ghosts are present throughout the story and play important roles. However, it can be hard to tell what the ghosts are truly there to represent. Is this idea a mistake or is that exactly what Hansberry is trying to insinuate? From reading the story, we know ghosts are present and that they are always around, but we have no true insight as to their true effects on Hansberry. This is truly an intelligent tactic Hansberry uses to write her story and make readers really evaluate what is happening.

Ghosts usually represent a “spiritual” being that was taught to us at a young age to signify fear. We have knowledge of their presence but have no true experience or interactions with them. Many are scared of ghosts because we are told stories that say ghosts are bad and they haunt you and will do bad things to you causing us to fear our own curiosity of these beings.

In the passage, Hansberry is referring to Americans as ghosts, portraying them as scary beings because she only has knowledge of their presence. Due to stories her mother has told her growing up, she’s fearful to act on her curiosity towards them. The stories that she was told of the “Newsboy Ghost”97 in Chapter 3 (Shaman) and how “He shouted ghost words to the empty streets. His voice reached children inside of houses, reached inside the children’s chests. They would come running out or their yards with their dimes. They would follow him just a corner too far. And when they went to the nearest house to ask directions home, the Gypsy Ghosts would lure them inside with gold rings and then boil them alive and bottle them alive.” (97). This shows that the narrator’s mother instilled fear into her when it came to American people, specifically those of Caucasian decent, making them out to be ghost which affiliated them with negativity.

Although ghosts were symbols of negativity, curiosity always seemed to surface. Curiosity allows her to create her own reality but fear blinds her from the truth. “When we heard the real newsboy calling, we hid, dragging our newspapers under the stairs or into the cellar, … We crouched on our newspapers, and plugged up our ears with our knuckles until he went away.” (97). This shows how their curiosity allowed them to create their own newspaper, mimicking the actual newsboy. However, this also shows how the fear created by the stories told from their mother, prevents her from being culturally in tuned.

How does her knowledge of ghosts affect her views on society?

How does story telling affect the power of ghosts in the narrator’s life?



Ghosts: Alive or Dead?

Throughout Maxine Hong Kingston’s, The Woman Warrior; Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, the recurring idea of “ghosts” has become a vital piece to the novel. In the memoir, Shaman, the narrator discusses the types of ghosts she and her mother have encountered. At the start of the memoir her mother is haunted by a sitting ghost in her dormitory. Kingston writes, “This Sitting Ghost has many wide black mouths. It is dangerous. It is real. Most ghosts make such brief and gauzy appearances that eyewitnesses doubt their own sightings. This one can conjure up enough substances to sit solidly throughout a night. It is a serious ghost, not playful at all” (Kingston, 74). In this instance, the ghost the narrator’s mother is referring to is a spirit, a dead ghost. This type of ghost is one that is easily fought off; it can be destroyed; and it does get destroyed. Kingston states, “I told you, Ghost, my mother chanted, that we would come after you” (Kingston , 75). Her mother knew that if she showed no fear and confronted the ghost, the ghost could be ravaged. She also tells the story of the ghost she encountered on the footbridge she crossed in China. Kingston states, “One twilight, just as my mother stepped on the bridge, two smoky columns spiraled up taller than she….She used the bridge often, but she did not encounter those ghosts again” (Kingston, 88). Again, the ghost her mother encounters are dead ghosts, just spirits and shows no fear. But not all of the ghosts the narrator and her mother come across are similar to the Sitting Ghost and the ghosts on the footbridge.

In January of 1940, the narrator’s mother migrated to the United States. Following her move, she gave birth to her daughter, the narrator, during the middle of World War II. The narrator discusses the types of ghosts she encounters. Kingston states, “But America has been full of machines and ghosts- Taxi Ghosts, Bus Ghosts, Police Ghosts, Fire Ghosts, Meter Reader Ghosts, Tree Trimming Ghosts, Five-and-Dime Ghosts” (Kingston, 97). In this quote, it is evident that these ghosts are alive. Rather than spirits haunting and tormenting people, these ghosts are just average people in their everyday lives. Kingston also states, “The Japanese, though ‘little,’ were not ghosts, the only foreigners considered not ghosts by the Chinese” (Kingston, 93).  Here, the narrator describes every foreigner as a “ghost” besides the Japanese.

In this memoir, ghosts represent the unknown; they are the fear and uncertainty the narrator faces. This is why the Japanese are the only foreigners not considered “ghosts”, to the Chinese, the Japanese are familiar and comfortable. But, the American culture is not. The narrator does not understand the American culture, so everyone within the American culture is labeled as a ghost. Sometimes it can be unclear whether or not the ghosts are alive or dead, or are in the past or present. But in each senacrio they repsent something differet. When the narrator’s mother tells her ghost stories, it shows how she is brave and also, unaffected she is by the cultural differences. When the narrator uses the word ghost, she is referring to the mysteries and insecurities she is facing in the unknown culture she is emerged in. Her mother is portrayed to be strong, confident, and secure within herself when she tells her ghost stories. Her ghost stories are also ways of teacher her daughter lessons about life. By telling her daughter how she stood strong against these ghosts, is a way of telling her to be confident and fearless in every aspect of life.


  1. What lessons or advice do you think the narrator’s mother is trying to portray through the stories of the bridge ghost and the Sitting Ghost?
  2. Do you think it is peculiar that even though the Japanese are an adversary to the Chinese, they are the only foreigners not considered ghosts? Why or why not?

What it takes to be a Woman

  According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, feminism is stated as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” In the memoir No Name Woman in The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston, there is a strong lack of feminism.

  In the story Kingston is told by her mother “You must not tell anyone what I am about to tell you. In China your father had a sister who killed herself. She jumped into the family well. We say that your father has all brothers because it is as if she had never been born” (Kingston 3). The opening paragraph is Kingston learning that her aunt drowned herself. Her Aunt committed adultery with an abusive man and became pregnant. Shortly after giving birth, she committed suicide by jumping in the family well, also killing the baby. “The other man was, not after all, much different from her husband. They both gave orders: she followed. If you tell your family, I’ll beat you. I’ll kill you. Be here again next week”(7). Woman in old China were forced into marriage and were put into abusive situations. Kingston learns that her aunt was technically raped by a man in her village and when she became pregnant, the man organized a raid on her aunt. As a Chinese woman, her aunt cannot defend herself against the village because men are in control of the community. Woman are treated drastically different from the men. “Woman in old China did not choose. Some man had commanded her to lie with him and be his secret evil” (6). There is an absences of women’s rights throughout the memoir. 

  Kingston analyzes her own life in the memoir. She is torn between being a woman in American culture and Chinese culture. “I have tried to turn myself American-feminine” (11). Kingston does not know how to be a proper woman and she wants to be loved. “If I made myself American-pretty so that five or six Chinese boys in the class fell in love with me, everybody else-the caucasian Negros, and Japanese boys- would too. Sisterliness dignified and honorable, made much more sense” (12). This quote shows how Kingston wants to fit the stereotypical American woman standard.  She is trying to understand her families past while attempting to balance life as Chinese American. She feels displaced between the two cultures. 

Throughout the memoir, there is an underlining theme of what it takes to be a woman in Chinese culture. “Don’t Humiliate us. You wouldn’t like to be forgotten as if you had never been born. The villagers are watchful” (5). In Chinese culture, their is an expectation to never talk about sex, especially if you are a woman. “Among the very poor and the wealthy, brothers married their adopted sisters, like doves. Our family allowed for some romance, paying  adults brides’ prices and providing  dowries so that their sons and daughters could marry strangers. Marriage promises to turn strangers into friendly relatives- a nation of siblings” (12). Woman were expected to obey their families tradition and take part in arranged marriage. Another expectation of women was to get their feet bound. “my mother said we were lucky we didn’t have to have our feet bound when we were seven. Sisters used to sit on their beds and cry together, she said, as their mothers or their slaves removed the bandages for a few minutes each night and let the blood gush back into their veins” (9).

Kingston observes how different female influences adapted to the Chinese culture. Woman have a prestigious role to play which is influenced by culture and tradition.

What are ways in which men were treated differently than women in old Chinese culture?

Do you think there was a better solution for Kingston’s aunt instead of committing suicide?

Connecting past to present

A few of the things that you can connect from the memoir to real life is the idea of poverty and people being hungry, and storytelling.
The idea of poverty can relate to this because on page ten Kingston says, “Poverty hurt, and that was their first reason for leaving”. With this line Kingston’s talking about the men came to the United States looking for a better life and their main reason for coming over was because of the poverty. In a 2011 study by Steven Friedman of the Huffington post he lists the top five countries that are in poverty are Turkey, the United States, Chile, Israel, and number one is Mexico. Even though the United States is one of the wealthiest countries it’s surprising to that the United States as high as it is in this list. The second way poverty can relate to this is when Kingston says, “But the men-hungry, greedy, tired of planting in dry soil- had been forced to leave the village in order to send food-money home”. Even though the men are over in the United States working they’re still sending the money back home so that the rest of their family can have the money.
Using the same quote as listed above “But the men-hungry, greedy, tired of planting in dry soil-had been forced to leave the village in order to send food-money home”, we can see that some families are having a hard time putting food on the table so that they can eat. This is also a problem in the United States, and in parts of other countries. Another example of this is when Kingston says, “Always hungry, always needing, she would have to bed food from other ghosts, snatch and steal it from those whose living descendants give them gifts” on page 16. Kingston is talking once again talking about her aunt who is looking for food to feed herself and to possible feed the baby. Another example is on page seven, when Kingston says, “In a commensal, food is precious, the powerful older people made wrongdoers eat alone”. If you are an older person and you have done wrong, you’ll be eating a meal by yourself.
Telling stories is helpful because it can help people understand different things like different people that they are related to or what people used to do for fun when they were younger. An example of this is when Kingston talks about her grandfather on the bottom of page ten and at the top of page eleven, saying that “There are stories that my grandfather was different from other people” and “And one day he brought home a baby girl, wrapped up inside his brown western-style greatcoat. He had traded one of his sons, probably my father, the youngest for her”. This quote goes to show that Kingston is learning about her grandfather through a story she probably would have never heard, if it wasn’t for the person that is telling her the story. Another example is at the bottom of page fifteen is when Kingston has learned about her aunt and her mother tells her to not talk about the aunt and the cousin because the father doesn’t want to hear the name of his sister who he doesn’t believe ever existed. In the sentence that starts out “I have believed that sex was unspeakable and words so strong and fathers so frail that “aunt” would do my father mysterious harm”, to think that even mentioning the word aunt around your father would do him harm is sad to think about.
1) What other ways are stories being told throughout the memoir?
2) What are some other ways in which poverty is talked about?

The Pride and the Prejudice


A strong sense of pride, along with love, radiates through the last act of A Raisin in the Sun.

Before getting into the meat of the act, the beginning starts with a meaningful introduction that demonstrates the importance of the lighting in the room within the first couple of sentences as “gloomy…gray light not unlike that which began in the first scene of Act I” (131). This flashback shows the difference between what the room felt like in the beginning of the play itself, which was “a comfortable and well-ordered room” (23). The discomfort of the room is present because of the remaining disappointment that happened an hour before hand when Walter told Mama about all the money that Willy had taken.

Walter had no intention in setting aside a portion of the money for Beneatha’s schooling even after Mama put all her trust in him. At the end of the previous act, Walter had disappointed not only the family but the legacy and hard work in which his own father had done and worked himself to death. The money being taken away finally made Walter realize what that money had truly meant by saying, “THAT MONEY IS MADE OUT OF MY FATHER’S FLESH—” (128). In result, the pride Mama had in him was quickly taken away.

Walter’s pride in his own dream was taken away once Willy had taken all the money. Though, Walter did mope and “he starts to pound the floor with his fists, sobbing wildly” (128), he shows great pride towards something else by the end of the act.

Most of the pride in this act comes from Walter when Lindner, a prejudice white man who thinks that taking away this family’s pride by offering more money than they had initially bought the house for, would benefit his people. When Lindner responds to the phone call Walter made by coming over to the Younger’s apartment, Walter starts by saying to him, “Well Mr. Lindner…We called you —because, well, me and my family (he looks around and shifts from one foot to the other) Well— we are very plain people…” (147). He suggests to Lindner that just because they are “plain people” they are people who come from a lot of pride. The dynamic changes in the way Walter is proud by stating, “I mean–we are very proud people. And that’s my sister over there and she’s going to be a doctor— and we are very proud—” (148). Walter includes himself along with the rest of the family, in his pride for his sister’s decision in having a dream of becoming a doctor. Whereas, in the beginning of the play, he would say, “Who the hell told you you had to be a doctor? If you so crazy ‘bout messing ‘round with sick people—then go be a nurse like other women—or just get married and be quiet…” (38).

This change in pride shows that instead of being a selfish man with his own dreams, like before, he is now accepting of Beneatha’s dream of becoming a doctor and like Mama says towards the end of the act, “He finally come into his manhood today, didn’t he? Kind of like a rainbow after rain…” (151). This quote is significantly important because of the metaphor Mama uses to exemplify the change in attitude and perspective Walter has gone through. The metaphor is also a way to show the way the mood has lightened and is happier now that the family gets to all move into the house of their dreams.

The ways in which the dynamics of pride had changed was present and notable throughout the whole play. The prejudice the white folks had against the Younger family before they even knew them was insulting and critical in the way their pride shined in the decision made to move to that neighborhood anyway.



1.) What other ways was pride shown throughout the play as a whole?

2.) Do you believe the decision of moving to the new house was the best choice, why or why not?

Love is All You Need

   The concept of love shines throughout A Raisin in the Sun. Every character shows the love that they have. Towards each other, their beliefs, and their dreams.       

   Mama Younger loves her family and will do anything and everything to ensure that they will have great lives. She has dedicated herself to keeping a roof over their heads and keeping positivity through the house as much as she can. Mama also loves her plant. This little plant sits in the lonely window of the house and gets the smallest amount of sunlight. Yet Mama cares for that plant as if it were another one of her children. Just like Mama this plant is struggling to stay strong and keep fighting, and just like Mama, it does. Her love for this plant stems from her ability to relate to it. In Act II Scene 3, Beneatha sees Mama fidgeting with the plant. After Beneatha asked what Mama was doing with the plant, and being told that Mama is fixing it so it won’t get damaged on the move, Beneatha asks, “Mama, you going to take that to the new house? That raggedy-looking old thing?” To which Mama replies, “It expresses ME!”(121) At the end of Act III, Mama walks out of the house without her plant and closes the door. “The door opens and she comes back in, grabs her plant, and goes out for the last time)“.(151)

   Perhaps the greatest show of love comes from Asagai. When he is first introduced, it is seen through his words how much he cares about Beneatha. “How much time must there be before one knows what one feels?”(61) Asagai came back from Canada and brought a gift over to Beneatha’s house. When she opens up the colorful Nigerian robes, he mentions that she should be careful with them since they are from his sister’s personal wardrobe. Beneatha asks, “You- you sent all the way home- for me?” to which Asagai replies, “For you- I would do much more.” (63) This gift shows how truly he loves Beneatha, because it’s something that means so much to him and is personal to him. In the beginning of Act III, Asagai came to the house to help the family pack. Before he leaves the house, he says to Beneatha, “I have a bit of a suggestion. That when it is all over- that you come home with me-…” “…-I do not mean across the city- I mean across the ocean: home- to Africa.”(136)

   Asagai’s love for Beneatha is extremely important to the growth of her character. He immerses her in the Nigerian and Yoruban culture. She listened and danced to their music while wearing the robes Asagai got her(76), she cut her hair to prove to Asagai that she wasn’t assimilating to American culture(80), and she fought George by standing up for her heritage(81). With all of the turmoil that the family endures, Asagai is the one person who always shows Beneatha that she is perfect just the way she is, and he will love her no matter what. After all, he wants her to go to Africa with him.

   Love is a funny thing. No matter who or what it’s aimed towards, the person who gives it has the best intentions in mind. Those are the people who change the world.



“There is always something left to love. And if you ain’t learned that, you ain’t learned nothing.” (145)




  1. Do you think that if Asagai wasn’t around, Beneatha’s character would have developed as much?
  2. Mama loves her children. Do you think she feels as if they are no longer accepting of it and that’s why she loves her plant so much?



All You Need is Love by The Beatles

“There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done

Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung

Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game

It’s easy

Nothing you can make that can’t be made

No one you can save that can’t be saved

Nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time

It’s easy

All you need is love, all you need is love

All you need is love, love, love is all you need”