The Skin I'm In

by Sharon Flake

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What about Maleeka makes her vulnerable and open to dominance by Char and others like her.In the end what causes Maleeka to stand up for herself and begin to turn her life around.

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Maleeka is troubled by the darkness of her skin and the torment of her peers about her darkness. Her self-image is poor, and that view of herself is reinforced by the cruel song of John-John and the taunts of others. She cannot find the good in herself. Whenever someone who is popular pays attention to her, she lets herself be used by them. Maleeka is a smart girl that others use as a homework source. In return, they offer a little companionship and material needs such as clothing that is more attractive. Her teacher leads her to discover the strength within by encouraging her to write a journal of a fictitious slave girl. As she gains a better insight into her inner beauty, she stands up to those who taunt and use her.

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