Act 2 scene 1
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George Murchison enters the scene, and Ruth, embarrassed, tells Walter (who has gotten on the table in his excitement) to get down and act properly. George, thoroughly confused, addresses Beneatha and asks her to change out of her "costume" and get ready for their theatre date. Beneatha, in a moment of indignation, removes her headdress and reveals to George Murchison her hair in its natural afro state. George is completely shocked. Beneatha seems to have expected this reaction and challenges George's discomfort with her natural hair, accusing him of being "an assimilationist Negro." Thus, the debate about the merits of their African heritage begins. George minimizes the importance of West African history and calls their heritage "nothing but a bunch of raggedy-assed spirituals and some grass huts!" Beneatha, highly insulted, asserts the importance of African history to civilization, citing the example of the surgical advances made by the Ashanti people.