Study Guide

Porscha Johnson in Bronx Masquerade

By Nikki Grimes

Porscha Johnson

Porscha Johnson is a bit of a mystery. The kids in school think she's a bit "touched in the head" (26.4) because she beat up a girl last year. Never mind that the girl had been bullying her for nine months—Porscha's the one who got a bad reputation. Ugh. Now people see her as dangerous, which she doesn't like one bit:

It took a bully nine straight months of riding me to cause my thermometer to boil. And once I lost it, did anybody blame it on the bully? No, They start calling me crazy, whispering it behind my back. It was as if that other Porscha, the easygoing, even-tempted one, never existed. Truth is, she always did, always will. (75.7)

Porscha understands what it's like when people don't see you like you see yourself. She may know that deep down she's a levelheaded girl who's going to keep herself in check, but her classmates just don't understand this about her. They think she's ready to snap at any minute. Maybe she can change their minds through poetry? We think she can.

One of Porscha's issues is that she keeps lots of things inside. Kids don't seem to know that her mom died, and they definitely don't know she died from a drug overdose. That's why it's so important when Porscha finally opens up about her past through her poetry. She forgives her mom and lets the other kids in her class know exactly who she is and where she comes from. Nice work, Porscha.