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

clipping 'Di'?

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?

Bill Smith

Piedmont College