Summary: Chapter 31
Ifemelu cheats on Curt. When Ifemelu admits her transgression, Curt asks how she could do this when he was so good to her. Later, Ifemelu wonders why she sabotaged her life. She calls Curt multiple times, but eventually accepts that he won’t answer.
Time flashes forward to a cocktail party after Barack Obama wins the Democratic Party’s nomination. A Haitian woman claims race was never an issue in her relationship with a white man. Ifemelu argues that in America, race is everywhere, and black people in interracial relationships often don’t tell their white partners what they face. This causes Ifemelu to remember the incident that led to her blog. Curt comments that Essence is racially skewed for only showcasing black women. Ifemelu takes him to a bookstore to demonstrate how few dark-skinned women appear in magazines. Curt claims he didn’t intend the conversation to be a big deal. Ifemelu writes an email about this to Wambui, who encourages her to start a blog. In the weeks after she breaks up with Curt, Ifemelu starts her blog with a rewrite of this email as her first post. She quotes this post at the party, proclaiming that the cure for racism is real romantic love that allows for people to be uncomfortable.
The chapter ends with a blog post in which Ifemelu writes about a metaphor for race in America: her white friend doesn’t know that Michelle Obama’s hair is not naturally straight.
Summary: Chapter 32
Aunty Uju joins an organization called Doctors for Africa and goes on short missions in various countries. She has started dating a Ghanaian doctor named Kweku.
Ifemelu’s parents are finally able to visit her. Ifemelu thinks her parents now seem provincial. Her mother asks her if she has a “friend,” meaning a boyfriend, and warns her that women wilt like flowers. The day her parents leave, Ifemelu cries, upset that she’s relieved that they have gone. She resigns from work, citing personal reasons.
Summary: Chapter 33
The success of Ifemelu’s blog shocks her. People ask to support the blog, and so she puts up a PayPal link. People begin to donate, including an anonymous donor who gives her a large payment once a month. She wonders if it’s Curt. Soon she adds advertisements to the sidebar. However, she does not attach her name or photo to the blog, and when featured in the media, she only goes by “the blogger.”