Study Guide

Chankara Troupe in Bronx Masquerade

By Nikki Grimes

Chankara Troupe

Chankara is determined not to end up like her older sister. So when Chankara's boyfriend gets a little fresh with her and gives her a smack on the cheek, this girl is not having it:

We locked lips for a few minutes. Next thing I know, he's fingering my shirt buttons. I push him away, gently at first. "I think we better slow down," I say. "No, no," he says, voice all husky. "It's just getting good." This time, his hand shoots up my skirt. Bad move. I jump off the sofa like it's on fire. "Maybe it's time for you to go." He grabbed my skirt and tried pulling me back down, which is right about when I hauled off and smacked him. He leaped up and smacked me back.

My jaw dropped from shock, and I looked in his eyes and saw my sister's reflection. (5.5-6)

Family plays a big role in these kids' lives. In Chankara's case, she's determined not to repeat the mistakes she's seen her family make. She's a strong young woman, and no one is going to tell her that she doesn't deserve a healthy and awesome relationship. Of course, she's totally right. This girl is pretty smart.