Date: Tue, 21 Mar 1995 22:25:31 -0500
From: "William H. Smith" Wh5mith[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM
Subject: "Everyday Use"
In Alice Walker's story, "Everyday Use," the character 'Dee" has changed her
name to "Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo' because she refuses to bear a name given
by "her oppressors." She greets her mother with the phrase, "Wa-su-zo-Tean-o.
" Is there any African source for these? (Are you reading, Salikoko?)
Her mother, who admits having never gone to school, says that she could trace
'Dee' back past the civil war. It is a nickname for 'Dicey.' Is it likely
that an illiterate tradition would use the initialism 'Dee' rather than the
If there is anyone out there who knows Ms Walker, can you answer this? Was
she aware of the irony in the fact that Turner reported in _Africanisms in
the Gullah Dialect_ that /di/ was a common female "basket name"--a name of Wes
t African origin used only within the Gullah community?
wh5mith[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]aol.com