Phyllisia Cathy is a young girl that moved to Harlem, New York from the islands. Phyllisia is about twelve or thirteen years old, and she is growing up very fast. Ruby is Phyllisia's sister, and she is about fifteen or sixteen. All of Phyllisia's friends think that Ruby is gorgeous. Phyllisia doesn't really get along with Ruby very well. Ruby and Phyllisia don't fight, but if they did Phyllisia would probably come out on top.
Phyllisia is criticized by Calvin almost every day. Calvin is her father, and he tells her that she is ugly and that Ruby is pretty. Phyllisia acts like she doesn't care, but she really cares about her appearance. Ramona is a very quiet, young looking, and beautiful woman. She treats Phyllisia with respect, and she treats Ruby nice also. Ramona is Phyllisia's mother, and she is very sick. If Phyllisia had a favorite parent it would probably be her mother, because she hates Calvin. Overall I think Phyllisia loves both of her parents.
Like anyone else Phyllisia has friends, and she has some enemies. There is a scrawny girl at Phyllisia's school that is always trying to get Phyllisia's attention. Phyllisia is very annoyed by the holes in the back of the girl's stockings; sometimes she wishes she could buy some stockings for the girl. Edith Jackson is the scrawny girl that is always nice to Phyllisia, and Phyllisia doesn't really like her. In Phyllisia's apartment complex there is a little girl that lives nearby and Phyllisia would love to have her as a friend. The way Phyllisia sees Marian is pretty, short, and funny, so naturally she wanted to be Marian's friend. As you can see Phyllisia is pretty shallow when it comes to picking friends.
Even though it sounds like Phyllisia would have some friends, she doesn't yet. Big-breasted Buelah is trying to fight with Phyllisia, and Phyllisia is scared to death. Once in class Buelah put one hand over her eye and the other hand balled up in a fist. Buelah wanted to beat Phyllisia to a monkey-chasing pulp. When Phyllisia got to school and she was getting taunted she was wishing that Edith would have been at school that day. Phyllisia was hoping...