Everyday Use Historical And Cultural Criticism Essay

Decent Essays

Historical and Cultural Criticism in “Everyday Use” African-American’s culture has changed in many ways over time. Before the 1900’s, African-American’s could hardly voice, express, or convey their culture. In the short story, “Everyday Use”, by Alice Walker, a family of three southern women all deal with the issue of adaptation to their new growing culture. Dee, Maggie, and Mama all accept the progressing African-American culture era. However, all three of the women embrace the new-found culture in different ways, as did many women in those times. In the short story, “Everyday Use”, a small African-American family portrays how life is for their race in the 1970’s. The three main characters, Dee, Maggie, and Mama, are from a rural background, …show more content…

Korenman writes, “Late in the 1900’s and on into the seventies, many African-American women who had been active in the civil rights and black nationalist movements began to voice their dissatisfaction with the way women were regarded in these movements.” Joan Korenman is providing historical evidence to explain how women were voicing their right to freedom during the time period that, “Everyday Use”, is written in, When Dee arrives home to visit the family, she requests being called a different name, Wangero. Dee’s request shows that she is actively exercising her rights to her new-found cultural love. Cowart writes, “Wangero persists in seeing the name as little more than the galling reminder that African-American’s have been denied authentic names”. David Cowart is using this quote to show how women across the nation are starting to come together and embrace their true national ethos. In conclusion, “Everyday Use”, has an underlying topic of black nationalism. This topic is still an ongoing topic to this day. Although, African-American’s culture and nationalism has emerged over time, it took a long time to get where it is today. This short story not only shows the positive but the negative effects that black nationalism has had on African-American’s. Reader’s not only get to see progression of black ethos, but also get to see

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