The Pretty One

Note from Danielle: This wonderful piece of writing is from the perspective of an African-American girl during a time when racism was a social norm in the United States. Pay attention to the way the voice and use of language help to shape the character.

I hate her, the first time I seen her I knew I would. And that day in the hallway I knew I was right. I was in fourth grade, just gettin' my stuff out of the locker when she purposely bumped into me. "Oh sorry," she exclaimed with her perfect southern accent, "You just blend in so well with the brown lockers." Now there ain't nobody or nothin' that gonna stop me from hatin' her.

Her name's Penny. She as pretty as they come. Her hair braided back into two plaits, her prissy pink dress with a bow at the waist, her socks with frilly little lace on the edges and that evil white skin covering her from the tip of her big toe to the last inch of her head. mama says hate's too strong a word, but there ain't nothin' besides as strong word that's gonna keep me from punchin' her in the nose.

Cate L., Colorado

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