“A good girl: bright, perhaps a bit of an introvert, perhaps not romantically pursued or interested in the pursuit for these reasons. Of course, these traits are likely not all she is, but when she is told that her brownness negates her goodness, she must determine how to be herself—all of herself—anyway.
Tropism is the biological phenomenon that describes how she does it. In tropism, external agents determine the direction of an organism’s growth. For better or worse, it is often external agents that show a good girl of color how to grow into herself; they determine what she will look like and how she will act.”