Everyday Use

Hakim-a-barber Character Analysis

Hakim-a-barber is Dee’s partner, whom Dee brings to Mama and Maggie’s house with her. When they arrive at the house, he greets the family by saying “Asalamalakim,” and so Mama mockingly uses this to refer to him as “Asalamakim” throughout the rest of the story. Walker portrays Hakim-a-barber as uptight and over-intellectualizing, unable to connect to Dee’s family.
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Hakim-a-barber Character Timeline in Everyday Use

The timeline below shows where the character Hakim-a-barber appears in Everyday Use. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Everyday Use
Objects, Symbolism, and Writing Theme Icon
...at last, Dee and her partner (Mama is unsure if they are married or not), Hakim-a-Barber, arrive at the house. As they pull up in their car, Maggie tries to retreat... (full context)
Objects, Symbolism, and Writing Theme Icon
Racism, Resistance, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Next, Dee greets her family in Luganda, an African language, saying “Wa-su-zo Tean-o!” Hakim-a-barber follows suit, saying “Asalamakim” (an Arabic greeting). He tries to hug Maggie and, in doing... (full context)
Heritage and the Everyday Theme Icon
Racism, Resistance, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
As Mama explains the name’s lineage, Dee and Hakim-a-Barber give each other looks over her mother and sister’s heads, communicating through eye contact. Ultimately,... (full context)
Racism, Resistance, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Mama reflects that Dee and Hakim-a-Barber’s greeting of “Asalamakim” reminds her of the cattle farmers down the road, who say hello... (full context)
Heritage and the Everyday Theme Icon
Objects, Symbolism, and Writing Theme Icon
The family eats dinner together— collard greens and pork. The fare disgusts Hakim-a-barber, but delights Dee, who eats the cornbread and potatoes with gusto. (full context)