Miriam Makeba Brown
At age sixteen, Miriam is one of Maria's closest friends, and she is a
friend to Sueño as well. She and her mother and her grandmother live in
an apartment building near the shop that they own in Tacoma Park,
When Miriam was younger, she and her mother lived in the same neighborhood
as Sueño's family does, but her mother used the money from her job as a
night clerk at the Shoreham Hotel to rent a little space in Tacoma Park
and start an African import store.
Miriam hates it when people just assume she is African-American because,
in fact, she is South African, or at least her mother and grandmother
were--her father was too, before he was shot during a holdup of the taxi
he was driving, when Miriam was five. He, Miriam's mother, and Oba,
father's mother, fled South African apartheid. Miriam, named after the
famous South African singer,
Makeba was born here soon after their arrival.