Nina is about to leave for the Singer’s house when her mother calls and says to come to Nina’s parents’ house immediately. When she arrives, Kimmy opens the door, and Nina asks her mother what’s going on. Nina’s mother begins yelling at her, calling her a “whore” and accusing her of “debasing herself with that, that Rasta.” Nina protests that Kimmy has a Rasta boyfriend, but her mother replies that at least Kimmy’s boyfriend is from a “good family.” Nina’s mother is so overcome with anger that she falls down and has to be helped into a chair.
Nina’s mother’s fury at the news that Nina slept with the Singer, compared to her indifference to Kimmy’s relationship with Ras Trent, tells us a lot about the real reason why people like Nina’s family dislike Rastas. Although in many ways the division is about culture, it is perhaps even more so an issue of class. Not only is the Singer a “dirty” Rasta, but he is from the ghetto.
Kimmy knows that Nina won’t point out that Kimmy also slept with the Singer, as this would be too much for their mother to bear. The three women yell at one another and eventually Nina’s mother shouts for her husband, Morris. She says that Nina must be infested with lice and exclaims that she doesn’t want a “Rasta bastard pickney” in her house. Suddenly, Nina feels a leather strap hit her; her father grabs her by the leg and begins beating her. Nina screams for him to stop and eventually kicks him in the chest, grabs the belt, and beats him in return.
Nina starts to show more unique traits distinguishing her from the “everywoman” figure she first seemed to be. Chief among them is her recklessness, as shown when she seizes the belt and begins beating her father after he beats her. Although at times she seems lost and powerless, at other times Nina is impressively fearless and single-minded.