Willie is H and Ethe’s daughter. Willie grows up in Pratt City and marries Robert Clifton when she is very young. After the birth of her son Carson, Willie and Robert move up to Harlem, where Willie hopes to make it as a singer. However, she quickly realizes how difficult it is to get a job as a black woman, whereas Robert has no problem because he is a light-skinned man. Willie and Robert split up after a white man forces Robert to violate her in the bathroom of a jazz club for the white man’s own enjoyment. After this traumatic event, Willie takes care of Carson alone. She then remarries a poet named Eli and has another child with him, Josephine, but Eli is unreliable and often leaves the family for months at a time. Even though Carson is resentful towards Willie because he never knows his father, Willie helps take care of Carson when he slips into drug addiction.
Willie Quotes in Homegoing
The Homegoing quotes below are all either spoken by Willie or refer to Willie. 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: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Homegoing published in 2017.).
Part 2: Willie Quotes
Willie Character Timeline in Homegoing
The timeline below shows where the character Willie appears in Homegoing. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: Willie
Part 2: Sonny
Part 2: Marcus