Mama, also known as Lena, is a very memorable character. She has many attributes that make the reader admire her throughout the play, but she is also very strict.
She believes in God a lot, and anyone in her family that doesn't, or opposes God, is punished, or yelled at anyway. She thinks that any dream that her family goes for should not be deferred, unless it is out of the ordinary, or above the standards that she would expect. For example, Walter actually wanted to own a liquor store. Mama thought this was ridiculous and thought he would just get more drunk from it than he already is almost every night. She had to defer his dream because she was only looking out for his own safety.
She is also very Catholic and believes and relies on God most of the time. Anyone in her family who opposes God, like Beneatha.
Beneatha was punished for her actions for not believing in God, with a slap on the face. This warned everyone not to oppose God in her house. This, and other actions, also made her head of the household.
She cares about people a lot, even with her strict ways. After deferring Walter's dream, she still eventually gave him some of the money anyway. She realized that she was taking over Walter's duty of head of the household, and she also realized the troubles that he was going through, much involving racism. Mama realizes troubles in people, she can sense them, that is why she is so caring.
Like I said before, Mama is a very memorable character throughout the play, and these attributes make the reader enjoy her throughout the play, and get to know her well.