All American Boys

by

Jason Reynolds

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Rashad Butler Character Analysis

Rashad is one of the two central characters in the book. He is a 17-year-old African-American junior at Springfield Central High. Under pressure from his father, David, he participates in ROTC, although he does not particularly enjoy it. He loves art, hanging out with his best friends English, Shannon, and Carlos, and dancing at parties. He has a crush on Tiffany Watts, and hopes to hook up with her at Jill’s party. He is on his way to Jill’s when he is falsely accused of stealing from Jerry’s Corner Mart and is brutally beaten and arrested by Officer Paul Galluzzo. Recovering in the hospital from a broken nose and ribs, Rashad feels embarrassed by the attention being drawn to his case in the media. However, under the influence of his brother, Spoony, and after conversations about the Civil Rights movement with Shirley Fitzgerald, he becomes more passionate about standing up for justice. At the end of the novel, he is proud to fight against police brutality on behalf of all black people––especially those who were killed by the police.

Rashad Butler Quotes in All American Boys

The All American Boys quotes below are all either spoken by Rashad Butler or refer to Rashad Butler . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Atheneum edition of All American Boys published in 2015.
1. Friday: Rashad Quotes

I didn’t need ROTC. But I did it, and I did it good, because my dad was pretty much making me. He's one of those dudes who feels like there's no better

opportunity for a black boy in this country than to join the army. That's literally how he always put it. Word for word.

Related Characters: Rashad Butler (speaker), David Butler
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:
5. Sunday: Rashad Quotes

Honestly, I just wanted to take it easy for the rest of the day. I didn’t want to hear Spoony preach about how hard it is to be black, or my father preach about how young people lack pride and integrity, making us easy targets. I didn't even want to think about the preacher preaching about how God is in control of it all, or my mother, my sweet, sweet mother caught in the middle of it all. The referee who blows the whistle but is way too nice to call foul on anyone. That’s her. She just wants me to be okay. That's it and that’s all. So if football was going to be the thing that took our minds off the mess for at least a few hours, then fine with me.

Page Number: 101
Explanation and Analysis:
6. Sunday: Quinn Quotes

I felt like such an ass. I'd quickly convinced myself I had no idea who that kid with Paul was that night. And yeah, there were like a thousand kids in each grade at school, or whatever, but I did know him. Or know of him, really. I'd seen him––Rashad––in that uniform, and it'd made me think of my dad wearing his own at college. How my dad had looked proud in all those pictures.

Related Characters: Quinn Collins (speaker), Rashad Butler , Paul Galluzzo , Quinn’s Father
Related Symbols: Uniforms
Page Number: 108
Explanation and Analysis:
9. Tuesday: Quinn Quotes

“Why does it automatically gotta be Rashad's fault? Why do people think he was on drugs? That dude doesn’t do drugs. He's ROTC, man. His dad would kick his ass. You do drugs, asshole.”

“Just a puff here and there, man, come on. I don’t do drugs."

"I’ve seen you smoking a blunt. Metcalf sold you that shit. Metcalf––a white dude, by the way. Man, that shit could have been laced with crack, or fucking Drano. You don’t know what you talkin’ ‘bout.”

Related Characters: Quinn Collins (speaker), English Jones (speaker), Rashad Butler
Page Number: 175
Explanation and Analysis:

Now I was thinking about how, if I wanted to, I could walk away and not think about Rashad, in a way that English or Shannon or Tooms or any of the guys at school who were not white could not. Even if they didn't know Rashad, even if for some reason, they hated Rashad, they couldn’t just

ignore what happened to him; they couldn't walk away. They were probably afraid, too. Afraid of people like Paul. Afraid of cops in general. Hell, they were probably afraid of people like me. I didn’t blame them. I'd be afraid too, even if I was a frigging house like Tooms. But I didn't have to be because

my shield was that I was white. It didn't matter that I knew Paul. I could be all the way across the country in California and I'd still be white, cops and everyone else would still see me as just a “regular kid,” an “All-American” boy. “Regular.” “All American.” White. Fuck.

Page Number: 180
Explanation and Analysis:
10. Tuesday: Rashad Quotes

There was a cabbie who straight up said he wouldn't pick me up if he saw me at night. That really pissed me off. I mean, I had heard Spoony talk about that

for years. I never took cabs (the bus was cheaper), but he was always going on and on about how he could never catch a cab because of the way he looked. But I didn't look nothing like Spoony. Nothing. I mean, I wear jeans and T-shirts, and he wears jeans and T-shirts, so we look alike in that way, but who doesn't wear jeans and T-shirts? Every kid in my school does. And sneakers. And sweatshirts. And jackets. So what exactly does a kid who "looks like me" look like? Seriously, what the hell?

Related Characters: Rashad Butler (speaker), Spoony Butler
Page Number: 188
Explanation and Analysis:
12. Wednesday: Rashad Quotes

My dad, my dad, had paralyzed an unarmed kid, a black kid, and I had had no

idea. My dad shot a kid. I mean, to me, my father was the model of discipline and courage. Sure, he was stern, and sometimes judgmental, but I always felt like he meant well. But to that kid––and now my head was reeling––to that kid, my dad was no different than Officer Galluzzo. Another trigger-happy cop who was quick to assume and even quicker to shoot.

Page Number: 234
Explanation and Analysis:

My brother took the bus trip down to Selma. He begged me to go. Begged me. But I told him it didn't matter. I told him that he was going to get himself killed, and that that wasn’t bravery, it was stupidity. So he went without

me. I watched the clips on the news. I saw him being beaten with everyone else, and realized that my brother, in fact, was the most courageous man I knew, because Selma had nothing to do with him. Well, one could argue that it did, a little bit. But he was doing it for us. All of us.

Related Characters: Shirley Fitzgerald (speaker), Rashad Butler
Page Number: 245
Explanation and Analysis:
13. Thursday: Quinn Quotes

Well, where was I when Rashad was lying in the street? Where was I the year all these black American boys were lying in the streets? Thinking about scouts? Keeping my head down like Coach said? That was walking away. It was running away, for God's sake.

Related Characters: Quinn Collins (speaker), Rashad Butler , Coach Carney
Related Symbols: Basketball
Page Number: 251
Explanation and Analysis:

I did not want to be a hero. I did not want to make any of what had happened in the last week about me. There was a guy who'd just spent six days in the hospital because the guy who'd been my personal hero for four years had put him there.

Related Characters: Quinn Collins (speaker), Rashad Butler , Paul Galluzzo
Page Number: 266
Explanation and Analysis:
14. Thursday: Rashad Quotes

Pictures of me throwing up the peace sign, some––the ones Spoony feared––of me flipping off the camera. Carlos and the fellas had been cropped out. These images would have nasty comments under them from people saying stuff like, Looks like he'd rob a store, and If he'd pull his pants up, maybe he would've gotten away with the crime! Lol, and Is that a gang sign? Other pictures were of me in my ROTC uniform. Of course, those had loads of comments like, Does this look like a thug? and If he were white with this uniform on, would you still question him?

Related Characters: Rashad Butler (speaker), Spoony Butler, Carlos Greene
Related Symbols: Uniforms
Page Number: 278
Explanation and Analysis:
16. Friday: Rashad Quotes

Me, Spoony, Carlos, English, Berry, and Shannon were in the front of the crowd, and all of a sudden, our arms locked and we were leading the way like—the image came to me of raging water crashing against the walls of a police dam. Marching. But it wasn’t like I was used to. It wasn't military style. Your left! Your left! Your left-right-left! It wasn’t like that at all. It was an uncounted step, yet we were all in sync. We were on a mission.

Page Number: 306
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire All American Boys LitChart as a printable PDF.
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Rashad Butler Character Timeline in All American Boys

The timeline below shows where the character Rashad Butler appears in All American Boys. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. Friday: Rashad
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
American Culture, Values, and Patriotism Theme Icon
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On Friday afternoon, Rashad finishes ROTC practice and eagerly changes out of his uniform, excited to party. Rashad is... (full context)
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In the school bathroom, Rashad sees his friend English Jones, a “stereotypical green-eyed pretty boy” who is loved by everyone... (full context)
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Out of his uniform and back in his normal clothes, Rashad feels “ready for whatever Friday had in store for me.” He hopes that at the... (full context)
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As Rashad browses the chips, a white lady (Katie Lansing) peruses the beer aisle beside him. Rashad... (full context)
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The cop shoves Rashad into a submission pose, smashing his face on the ground. Rashad hears the crunch of... (full context)
3. Saturday: Rashad
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As Rashad drifts into consciousness, he keeps hearing the word “custody” repeated over and over. His nose... (full context)
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In the morning, Rashad wakes up to see his mother, Jessica, sitting at his bedside. He feels terrible, but... (full context)
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David mentions that the police said Rashad resisted arrest, adding that he always told his sons to “just do what they ask... (full context)
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...this only angers him further. He recites statistics about police racism, which frustrates David, who Rashad notes always calls Spoony “a rebel without a cause.” Dr. Barnes enters, and tells the... (full context)
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Berry, who is Spoony’s girlfriend and English’s older sister, is at the hospital too. Rashad drifts in and out of sleep, watching TV when he wakes up. In the evening,... (full context)
4. Saturday: Quinn
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...bring himself to enjoy Jill’s party. He is haunted by the image of Paul beating Rashad; in this moment, Paul was unrecognizable, like an entirely different person. Quinn sleeps badly and... (full context)
5. Sunday: Rashad
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On Sunday, Rashad is happy to wake up to a quiet, peaceful room. He thinks about the fact... (full context)
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Pastor Johnson tells Rashad that “everything happens for a reason,” which annoys Rashad further. The group prays together, with... (full context)
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The news channel plays a clip of Rashad being beaten, noting that the victim has been identified as “sixteen-year-old Rashad Butler of West... (full context)
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A photo of Rashad in his ROTC uniform appears on the news, and Spoony explains that he supplied the... (full context)
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Rashad charges his phone and it immediately blows up with text messages. In the first texts,... (full context)
6. Sunday: Quinn
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...the incident at Jerry’s first-hand. Jill tells Quinn that the boy who got beaten was Rashad, and Quinn immediately feels shocked and guilty. Quinn admits that although he doesn’t know what... (full context)
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Jill says she heard that Rashad resisted arrest, and asks if Paul saw Quinn at the time. Before Quinn can answer,... (full context)
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...been listening to the whole conversation. Suddenly, the news comes on, with the item about Rashad and Jerry’s. Someone quickly mutes it, but Quinn has already flushed bright red. Mr. Galluzzo... (full context)
7. Monday: Quinn
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Quinn arrives at school to find everyone discussing Rashad. Quinn has received texts from Dwyer and other boys on the basketball team, but doesn’t... (full context)
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...Quinn confesses that he feels Jill is the only person he can talk to about Rashad, and they briefly hold hands. (full context)
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...a question, and Ms. Webber scolds EJ. EJ responds: “Guilty until proven innocent… just like Rashad.” Ms. Webber, flustered, says she knows there’s “a student” in hospital but that they have... (full context)
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Someone else in class says “Paul Galluzzo.” Quinn is angry; he thinks that talking about Rashad’s arrest just makes it worse. At basketball practice, Quinn feels disproportionately aware of Shannon and... (full context)
8. Monday: Rashad
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Rashad thinks about Aaron Douglas, a painter who was part of the Harlem Renaissance. Rashad has... (full context)
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Without thinking about it, Rashad begins to draw a picture of what happened to him at Jerry’s. While he is... (full context)
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As soon as Clarissa is gone, Rashad decides he needs to leave his room. He goes down to the first floor of... (full context)
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In the afternoon, Carlos, Shannon, and English arrive at the hospital to visit Rashad. As the boys catch up, Carlos pretends he hooked up with Tiffany, before revealing that... (full context)
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Shannon asks Rashad to tell his version of what happened at Jerry’s. The boys are shocked by the... (full context)
9. Tuesday: Quinn
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...sit down at Guzzo’s table. During lunch, Jill reveals that Quinn told her he witnessed Rashad’s arrest. Guzzo is furious, and tells Quinn not to tell anyone else. Jill implores Guzzo... (full context)
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...asks English if he knows who did the graffiti. English is standoffish, and tells Quinn: “Rashad didn’t do shit.” He becomes increasingly angry, especially after Quinn suggests Rashad might have been... (full context)
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...realizes that he wants his life to go back to the way it was before Rashad’s arrest. That evening, he messes up a meal he has made countless times before. He... (full context)
10. Tuesday: Rashad
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The chapter begins with a long quotation from a newscast about Rashad’s arrest. There is an interview with Claudia James, the woman who shot the video. She... (full context)
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Jessica enters Rashad’s room, and says that David couldn’t make it, as he has an upset stomach. She... (full context)
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Later, Jessica and Rashad are watching Family Feud when Spoony and Berry arrive. Berry is in law school, which... (full context)
11. Wednesday: Quinn
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...students––including Jill and Tiffany—are handing out flyers advertising the protest on Friday. Someone asks if Rashad will be there, but nobody knows the answer. In English class, Ms. Tracey distributes copies... (full context)
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...advised her not to assign “Battle Royale.” Quinn writes a note to Tooms, suggesting that Rashad is the “invisible man” at Springfield High, and saying they should do something. Tooms mouths... (full context)
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At practice, Quinn is able to focus on basketball for the first time since Rashad’s arrest, and he does well. He and English get into an impressive rhythm together, and... (full context)
12. Wednesday: Rashad
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Chief Killabrew’s card says that he was planning to visit Rashad before he heard that he didn’t want visitors. He wishes Rashad well, and encloses the... (full context)
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Hesitantly, David begins to tell Rashad a story from when he was a cop. To Rashad’s surprise, it is a story... (full context)
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Rashad is in shock. He has only ever heard stories of heroic acts David committed as... (full context)
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Rashad asks why David wanted to be a cop, and he says he wanted to do... (full context)
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After drawing for an hour or two, Rashad goes for another walk, taking a lap around the hospital floor. He returns to find... (full context)
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Mrs. Fitzgerald reminds Rashad that he told her he’d been in a car accident. She then admits that she... (full context)
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...of her bag, telling him she got every flavor except plain. After Mrs. Fitzgerald leaves, Rashad reflects on how terrifying it must have been to protest during the Civil Rights Movement.... (full context)
13. Thursday: Quinn
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...needed anything at all, he should come to him. Quinn had felt so relieved. Until Rashad’s arrest, everyone had only been thinking about the basketball scouts, but now Quinn feels like... (full context)
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...the third time in a row, he raises a fist in the air and says: “Rashad.” After, Quinn and Guzzo end up colliding and wrestling each other on the floor. Minutes... (full context)
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...one sees his bleeding nose. It strikes him that within a week, both he and Rashad have been beaten up by members of the same family. At the same time, he... (full context)
14. Thursday: Rashad
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On Wednesday evening, Jessica brought a lawyer, Maya Whitmeyer, to the hospital. Rashad was exhausted, but still managed to tell “every detail” of what happened to him at... (full context)
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Clarissa enters and checks Rashad’s vitals one last time. She is happy to hear that he is going home. She... (full context)
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Rashad is sad not to see Mrs. Fitzgerald again before leaving the hospital, but he is... (full context)
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After seeing a comment about David’s shooting of Darnell Shackleford, Rashad decides to look up Darnell. Seeing pictures of Darnell in his wheelchair, he realizes that... (full context)
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Rashad tells Carlos that he knows it was him who did the graffiti outside school. Carlos... (full context)
15. Friday: Quinn
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...means standing up for “freedom and justice.” Jill tells Quinn she thinks she can see Rashad at the front of the march. Quinn reflects that while some people will probably call... (full context)
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...the racist violence that black people experience. However, he finds consolation in the knowledge that Rashad survived, and once again searches for him in the crowd. (full context)
16. Friday: Rashad
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The night before the protest, Rashad was unable to sleep. In the morning, he feels nauseous and has diarrhea. When Jessica... (full context)
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Rashad and Jessica watch the news, which shows images of the cops in paramilitary gear preparing... (full context)
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Rashad goes into his bedroom and retrieves his old clippings of The Family Circus. He thinks... (full context)
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Rashad is stunned by the amount of people who have gathered for the protest, most of... (full context)
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The crowd chants. Rashad locks arms with Spoony, Carlos, English, Berry, and Shannon, and the group of them end... (full context)
17. Friday: Quinn and Rashad
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The final chapter alternates between Quinn and Rashad as they catch one another’s eyes during the die-in. Rashad can tell that Quinn is... (full context)