Natasha thinks that Harlem feels like an entirely different country than Manhattan. She doesn't know why she's surprised when he stops in front of a black hair care store, as Koreans own most black hair care stores. The old posters show professional black women with chemically treated hairstyles, and Natasha thinks Patricia thinks treated hair is better. She wasn't happy when Natasha decided to wear an Afro, but Natasha just wants to have choices.
As the novel will go on to say outright, Natasha isn't aware of the rich history of African hair—she operates as though she exists outside of that history when she says she just wants choices. However, her mindset denies the novel's assertion that people are wrapped up in their history no matter if they are aware of it or not.
Daniel is absurdly nervous. He asks Natasha to wait outside, and Natasha reasons that everyone is embarrassed by their family. Natasha wonders if Daniel is actually embarrassed by her, or is afraid his parents will be ashamed of her. She thinks that America isn't really a melting pot. She feels as though she and Daniel are having a moment she never expected to have with him.
Natasha's comment about the melting pot shows that the idyllic vision of a united, race-blind America absolutely doesn't exist, given that Daniel's dad is presumably racist. This shows that immigrants are also complicit in racism and denying the American dream to other immigrants.