The narrator

Outer characterization

The narrator is a five-year-old girl. The reference to the “advertisements in Ebony”  suggests she and her family are African American, as the target audience of this magazine is the African-American community. Her father is absent, possibly dead. She lives on New Jersey Avenue in Washington, D.C., with her two younger sisters and her mother. 

On the first day of school, the narrator wears a “checkeredlike blue-and-green cotton dress”. Her hair is plaited, with blue barrettes at the tips. All her clothes are new, including her green underwear, and her “yellow socks trimmed with lines of black and white around the tops.” She wears gardenia perfume behind her ears...

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