Americanah

Americanah Chapter 39 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Ifemelu stays with Aunty Uju, who does yoga now. Ifemelu, however, takes a perverse pleasure in buying unhealthy, inorganic chocolate bars now that she is fighting with Blaine. Uju complains about how Dike’s school immediately blamed Dike for hacking into its computers, when Dike isn’t even good with computers and was with her the day the hacking took place. Dike just says “you have to blame the black kid first,” and laughs. He tells other stories of small racist incidents, but always remarks how funny they are.
Once again Dike shows how alone and alienated he often feels as one of the only black students at his school, and also as an African growing up in America, but he is forced to laugh at himself along with his white peers, because there is no one else to stand up for him. Ifemelu briefly enjoys giving up the healthy habits she picked up from Blaine.
Themes
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Separation vs. Connection Theme Icon
Cultural Criticism Theme Icon
After nine days, Blaine finally answers Ifemelu’s calls. She suggests coming over and making coconut rice. They cook together in awkward silence, and Blaine steps away when she hugs him. This chapter’s blog post is about certain euphemisms regarding race in America, like “diversity,” “urban,” and “racially charged,” all of which generally mean different things for black people and for white people.
Ifemelu and Blaine reconnect and don’t break up, but something between them has been severed by this fight. This blog post relates to Ifemelu’s experience speaking at “diversity conferences,” where “diversity” is often a word used to make white people feel better about themselves.
Themes
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Separation vs. Connection Theme Icon
Cultural Criticism Theme Icon