American Street

American Street

by

Ibi Zoboi

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Imani Character Analysis

Imani is Fabiola’s first friend at school. She’s a beautiful and very smart young woman, with long hair that Fabiola finds beautiful. Though Imani is initially reluctant to befriend Fabiola, given Fabiola’s cousins’ reputation, she eventually offers to help Fabiola out when she gets a bad grade on an English paper. Imani is a stellar English student, so she teaches Fabiola how to cite her sources and build an argument. Imani and Fabiola both dislike Donna’s boyfriend, Dray, and although Imani thinks he’s scary, she inadvertently becomes the object of his affection for a time. While Dray and Donna are broken up, Dray begins texting Imani and having dresses and flowers delivered to her house. But because Imani’s is afraid of Donna, she doesn’t feel comfortable rejecting Dray’s advances (she fears, not incorrectly, that Donna will beat her up for trying to “steal” her boyfriend).
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Imani Character Timeline in American Street

The timeline below shows where the character Imani appears in American Street. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Dignity and the American Dream Theme Icon
Identity and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...are disrespectful. After class, Fabiola introduces herself to the girl next to her. The girl, Imani, recognizes Fabiola as “the Three Bees’ cousin.” Noticing the look Imani’s gives her, Fabiola doesn’t... (full context)
Family and Loyalty Theme Icon
Identity and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Fabiola walks away, but Imani follows and explains that people expect Fabiola to be the Fourth Bee. Pri has been... (full context)
Chapter 12
Family and Loyalty Theme Icon
Identity and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...Clearly, Mr. Nolan thinks that everything she wrote about a Haitian revolutionary hero is wrong. Imani asks Fabiola what’s wrong, and Fabiola shares that she got a D. Imani offers to... (full context)
Spirituality Theme Icon
Family and Loyalty Theme Icon
Fabiola is thankful for Imani; she believes Papa Legba has opened the door to friendship for her. Since Kasim has... (full context)
Trauma, Violence, and Desperation Theme Icon
Kasim greets the girls as they take a table. Imani starts to talk about Fabiola’s essay, but Kasim is too distracting for Fabiola to pay... (full context)
Chapter 13
Trauma, Violence, and Desperation Theme Icon
Hours later, Fabiola and Imani are the only customers in the café when Kasim and his coworkers begin to close... (full context)
Family and Loyalty Theme Icon
Trauma, Violence, and Desperation Theme Icon
...of the café, kisses Fabiola, and says that Dray is going to drive them home. Imani shakes her head, but she tells Dray her name when he asks for it. Fabiola... (full context)
Spirituality Theme Icon
Family and Loyalty Theme Icon
Trauma, Violence, and Desperation Theme Icon
Fabiola tries to defend Imani to Donna, which makes Dray tell Kasim to control his girlfriend. Chantal gently asks Imani... (full context)
Chapter 16
Dignity and the American Dream Theme Icon
Family and Loyalty Theme Icon
Identity and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...isn’t helping; Fabiola is working for Manman’s release alone. Then, the connection cuts out, and Imani knocks on the stall door. Fabiola, feeling light and happy, tells Imani that she was... (full context)
Chapter 17
Family and Loyalty Theme Icon
Trauma, Violence, and Desperation Theme Icon
Outside, Imani notices Fabiola’s A and says that Mr. Nolan went easy on her. Imani insists that... (full context)
Family and Loyalty Theme Icon
Identity and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Donna says that Imani needs to understand that she has no chance with Dray. A lot of girls wouldn’t... (full context)
Chapter 20
Family and Loyalty Theme Icon
Identity and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...weight loss as the drought before the rain—the rain being Dray’s arrest by Detective Stevens. Imani, however, is concerned by Fabiola’s weight loss. She refuses to come over and try Haitian... (full context)
Chapter 22
Family and Loyalty Theme Icon
Trauma, Violence, and Desperation Theme Icon
...happening. She rejects a call from Detective Stevens and tells Pri that the number is Imani’s. Pri teases Fabiola about trying to distance herself from all the West Side drama and... (full context)
Chapter 24
Family and Loyalty Theme Icon
Trauma, Violence, and Desperation Theme Icon
...tonight, as she sits in a gym for a school basketball game. She sits between Imani and another friend, ogling the players. Pri and Donna sit down in front of Fabiola,... (full context)
Chapter 25
Family and Loyalty Theme Icon
Trauma, Violence, and Desperation Theme Icon
Imani gets a C on her next paper. She also starts wearing big sweaters and doesn’t... (full context)
Dignity and the American Dream Theme Icon
Family and Loyalty Theme Icon
Trauma, Violence, and Desperation Theme Icon
Fabiola sticks close to Imani and her friends as they walk to the bus stop. She texts Pri to let... (full context)
Chapter 26
Trauma, Violence, and Desperation Theme Icon
...him that it’s his business what he does with Donna, but he has to leave Imani alone. Dray argues, but he gives in when Fabiola threatens to tell everyone that he’s... (full context)