Ghetto Girl, Exiled

Dia Arden
2 min readJun 29, 2019

Myself in two spaces.

I am an uneducated, mentally ill, thirty-one year old black woman with opinions on everything. Eleven years outside of the ghetto I grew up in- shout out to the East End of Bridgeport, CT- I haven’t figured out how to navigate the world with ease just yet.

Eleven years spent in the whitest of spaces- the Twin Cities- and a large part of me wants to crawl back to what I know. I’d do dark things for a decent plate of greens and cornbread. Or, a good Chinese food place that’s open past ten. I want to walk down the street in summer and smell the charcoal, see the smoke of a barbecue lifting and curling into the sky. There is no real music, no life in the air where I live now. At least, it’s not a life I recognize.

In Bridgeport, I lived in a patchwork house that was white with a crimson red door in the front. Mom and I lived in the upstairs apartment of a house my grandparents owned. There was a small church in a brown building to our left; another pieced together multifamily house to our right, blue with white doors.

The house across the street belonged to Our Friendly Neighborhood Drug Dealers for the longest time until, a couple years back, there was a hostile takeover. This is sad because part of the reason I breathed easy knowing my mom was safe-ish at night was because our Friendly Neighborhood Drug Dealers watched out for her as she walked home.

She was “Ms. Dianne” to them and she has never believed in a soul that was beyond salvation. That’s why they loved her, and I still do.

Now, it’s under new management. Which is a big part of the reason my mom and grandma had to move. New neighbors and the rats in the walls- another post for another time.

Today, I live in a one bedroom apartment on a quaint street behind a food co-op in HipsterLand. The men here twirl their mustaches like Bond villains and they do so unironically. I have seen so many white girls wearing dreadlocks and cornrows that I have long since given up the Cultural Appropriation fight. Forgive me, I am simply outnumbered.

And therein lies the heart of the matter. I am outnumbered. There are very few black faces in my world now. I took this for granted when I was younger. And it is a regret I carry now.

The question, I guess, is what do I do with the regret I carry? How do I move forward into the future as the lone ghetto girl in this endless white sea?



Dia Arden

Amateur black feminist. Broke “essential” worker.