Aunty Uju complains that Bartholomew expects her to make dinner for him and wants to control her salary. He doesn’t want to spend money on Dike, nor does he care about Dike’s school issues. He blames racism for the banks not approving his business loan. Aunty Uju blames Bartholomew for not moving to a city with more opportunities for black people, and the former heads of Nigeria for ruining the country so she had to come to America. Infuriated by Bartholomew’s laziness around the house, Aunty Uju leaves him.

The chapter ends with a blog post in which Ifemelu informs other black non-Americans that they are considered black in America. She tells them to acknowledge the black American definition of racism, even if they don’t understand why. She explains that above all they must never speak about racism as if they are angry about it.

Summary: Chapter 22

Ifemelu sees Kayode at the mall. Kayode says Obinze, who is now in England, had asked Kayode to find her and tell him what she looks like now. Kayode asks what happened between them. Ifemelu gives him the cold shoulder and walks away. She worries what he will tell Obinze after she gets into Curt’s car. She wonders why Obinze is in England when all he used to think about was America. Curt asks about her mood. When she tells Curt she ran into a Nigerian friend, Curt asks if Kayode was her ex-boyfriend. Ifemelu says no.

Ifemelu writes an email to Obinze, telling him that her silence felt stupid to her, but she could not explain it. Obinze never replies.

Curt tells her that he booked her a massage, and Ifemelu comments on how sweet he is. Curt angrily retorts that he does not want to be sweet, but that he wants to be the love of her life.

Analysis: Chapters 20–22

Ifemelu’s emotional journey with her hair recalls her realization that she did not want to force her accent, furthering her growth toward an authentic self. When Wambui discusses relaxers, she describes them as trying to force hair into a shape it wasn’t meant to have, emphasizing how unnatural it is for black hair to be straight. By learning to love her black hair as it is, Ifemelu learns to appreciate another aspect of her true, effortless self. However, because wearing her black hair means not giving into the white supremacist approval of straight hair, the people around her expect her choice to wear her hair naturally to have a political motive. She cannot simply like her hair as it is because black natural hair is not considered attractive by white society.