Study Guide

Tanisha Scott in Bronx Masquerade

By Nikki Grimes

Tanisha Scott

Pretty much everyone at her high school admires Tanisha, but that doesn't mean she likes the attention. No, they're not all drawn to her brain—people fawn over her because she has light skin and "good" hair (which basically means that her features lean more European than African). Even Tyrone likes her light-skinned look, and Tanisha's super not cool with it:

If Tyrone calls me "caramel cutie" one more time, I'll scream. I turn to cut my eyes at him and find Judianne staring at me again. Even after I turn away, I can feel her eyes stroking the back of my head. I'm so sick of people making a big deal over my "good hair." (38.1)

Tanisha doesn't see herself the way everyone else does. She gets singled out for her looks, but she really wishes that people saw her as the black woman she is inside. Her poem is all about how she embraces her blackness and comes from a long line of African ancestors. This is who she really is, and she wishes people wouldn't see her as different just because her skin's a little bit lighter. You do you, Tanisha.