American Street

American Street

by

Ibi Zoboi

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Ezili/Ezili-Danto Character Analysis

Ezili is the lwa (Vodou spirit) of women and fertility. She sometimes becomes Ezili-Danto when she’s fighting for women’s vengeance, and in this form, she has injuries on her face. Fabiola sees Donna as an iteration of Ezili because she’s interested in hair, makeup, and fashion, and she often has facial injuries from Dray’s abuse.

Ezili/Ezili-Danto Quotes in American Street

The American Street quotes below are all either spoken by Ezili/Ezili-Danto or refer to Ezili/Ezili-Danto. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Dignity and the American Dream Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Balzer + Bray edition of American Street published in 2017.
Chapter 14 Quotes

But I don’t want to look like a church lady. I still want to look...good. So I take off my mother’s church dress and put on a plain sweatshirt that belongs to Chantal and a pair of new jeans. I wear the Air Jordans that Pri picked out for me, but I keep my hairstyle. Now I don’t look so...Haitian. So immigrant.

Page Number: 138
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 17 Quotes

This is a makeshift altar for Ezili with all the things she loves in the world. My whole body tingles when I realize what’s happening.

Again, Papa Legba has opened another door. How could I have missed this? Of course, I need Ezili’s help, too. And she’d been right under my nose, working through Donna with all her talk about hair, jewelry, clothes, and beauty.

Page Number: 178
Explanation and Analysis:
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Ezili/Ezili-Danto Character Timeline in American Street

The timeline below shows where the character Ezili/Ezili-Danto appears in American Street. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7
Dignity and the American Dream Theme Icon
Spirituality Theme Icon
...maybe it’s because Fabiola let a boy touch her the night before they left. Maybe Ezili, the lwa of fertility and love, is mad and summoned Papa Legba to block Manman’s... (full context)
Chapter 14
Family and Loyalty Theme Icon
...up a YouTube hair tutorial and does Fabiola’s hair. When they’re done, Fabiola feels like Ezili, the lwa of beauty. Donna insists that Fabiola looks like Rosa Parks and storms out... (full context)
Chapter 17
Spirituality Theme Icon
Family and Loyalty Theme Icon
Identity and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...introduces herself as Ms. Unique. Inside, Fabiola thinks that this place is an altar for Ezili. This, she realizes, is Papa Legba’s doing—Fabiola needs Ezili’s help to make her look like... (full context)
Chapter 18
Family and Loyalty Theme Icon
Identity and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...a parking lot where Fabiola can see the river. Fabiola smiles because she knows that Ezili lives in rivers. Kasim’s phone rings as they reach the river: it’s Dray, and he... (full context)
Chapter 21
Dignity and the American Dream Theme Icon
Spirituality Theme Icon
Family and Loyalty Theme Icon
Identity and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...if Bad Leg is Papa Legba, and Dray is Baron Samedi; and if Donna is Ezili and Ezili-Danto, then Chantal and Pri can also be lwas. They’re all here to help. (full context)
Chapter 24
Dignity and the American Dream Theme Icon
Family and Loyalty Theme Icon
Trauma, Violence, and Desperation Theme Icon
Fabiola hugs Donna and says that she has the battle wounds of Ezili-Danto—but Fabiola will fight this battle for Donna. Fabiola knows that her cousins and Matant Jo... (full context)
Chapter 27
Spirituality Theme Icon
Family and Loyalty Theme Icon
Identity and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...is real, not the “voodoo” of movies. Donna puts a hand on Fabiola’s cheek, whispers, “Ezili-Danto,” and refuses to go. Chantal grudgingly agrees and notes that the cops will be at... (full context)