Neighborhood Ducklings

“Once upon a time there was a girl named Sabrina/Use to poke it out and wobble pass the Benzes and the Beamers/See you don’t know her, but you met her before/She want her fatty in your caddy and it’s hard to ignore/She wanna be on 16 and Pregnant/Or maybe the Bad Girls Club whatever segment.”—Nitty Scott, MC “Walk Like a Duck”


They walk up and down the street with their bottoms tooted up in the air and their lips poked out. They wear short shorts, skirts, tight jeans, halters and tank tops. Spring and summer are their time. Their time to flock around and try to catch other’s eyes. They make loud smacking sounds when they talk. Their lips shining from excessive lip gloss. They wear bright color weaves, cornrows and other “fly” hairdos. They are little ducklings and they imitate what they see.

Little black, brown, and light skin ducklings wobble up and down the street. Their usually between the ages of 13 to 16. They seek the attention of the neighborhood boys—the rough necks, hoodlums and trouble makers. Their grandmother’s are young. Their mother’s are even younger. They sit on the porches and over hear adult conversations.

“Giiirrrlll my baby daddy didn’t pay child support this month.”

“I saw yo man at the club all up on some other bitch last night.”

“Man she talking ‘bout she pregnant. That baby ain’t mines

“Man she a freak. That hoe seen everybody sheets.”

Their older sisters are in their late teens with two kids. Their brothers are in the trap, ironically falling into the trap that the government has set up for them. Their best friends strive to get on 16 & Pregnant. Their best friends’ sister party, drink, smoke, and fight—modeling her behavior off of the “bad girls” hype.

And it’s sad because they don’t know any better. To them, this is the life. This is their world. Poverished little boys and girls grow up to be poverished men and women. Young men learn to trap while young women learn to wobble. And they learn to set their sights on the guys that are always flashy.

“Giiirrrlll did you see that car he was driving?”

“He was dropping major stacks at the club last night.”

They’re taught that if they show a little cleavage, show a little ass and let the guy smash then they can get him. And if they get him then they’re life will be easier—glamorous. They’ll wear designer clothes. Ride around in fancy cars while still living in the hood. They’ll be hood stars.

They are the neighborhood ducklings. And the hood is their pond.


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