Black Power Movement In Everyday Use Novel

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The Black Power Movement was a time of change and Everyday Use is proof of that. During the 70s African Americans were going through a dramatic change, a change that would alter the very way they lived their lives. From the moment Dee arrived you could tell change was in the air, the difference between Deer’s new lifestyle compared the old ways her mother and sister still live.

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She had brought home a man by the name of Hakim-a-barber who appeared to be well educated and financially well off. By 1973 blacks had made substantial gains in employment and income. In addition, they benefited from a growth of opportunities for education and job training (Black Americans). This is shown when Dee shows up with an expensive car and a vibrant color dress (467).

Education played a major part in the Black Power Movement. The narrator mentions she never had much of an education herself, and after second grade the school she was attending shut down for an unknown reason (466). In 1972 about 65 percent of all blacks in their twenties were high school graduates, compared with only 54 per cent in 1967. There were 727,000 blacks attending college in 1972, nearly double the 1967 figure (Black Americans). Education became more open to the black community as the years passed.

Dee has altered her whole life since leaving home for five years and has now changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo as sign of respect to her true heritage. According to Dee the reason she changed her name is because she could not bear it any longer being named after the people that suppressed her (468).

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