The character of Spoony Butler in All American Boys from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes

All American Boys

Spoony Butler Character Analysis

Spoony is Rashad’s older brother. He works for UPS and lives with his girlfriend, Berry, in their own apartment. Rebelling against his father’s wishes, he wears his hair in dreadlocks and dresses in a style that David insists makes him look like a “criminal.” In reality, Spoony is passionate and dedicated to fighting for racial justice, and he is instrumental in highlighting Paul’s attack on Rashad as part of a larger social and political issue. He is a role model to Rashad.

Spoony Butler Quotes in All American Boys

The All American Boys quotes below are all either spoken by Spoony Butler or refer to Spoony 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.
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:
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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:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Spoony Butler Character Timeline in All American Boys

The timeline below shows where the character Spoony 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
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Heroes vs. Villains Theme Icon
...the opportunities to travel the world and serve one’s country. He begged Rashad’s older brother, Spoony, to consider a military career; Spoony refused, and now works at UPS. (full context)
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
...wants to buy some chips and a pack of gum, and to borrow $20 from Spoony so he doesn’t show up to the party empty-handed. Rashad gets the bus to Jerry’s... (full context)
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Heroes vs. Villains Theme Icon
...Lansing) peruses the beer aisle beside him. Rashad chooses barbecue flavor and goes to text Spoony before realizing that he left his cell phone inside his ROTC uniform. He squats down... (full context)
3. Saturday: Rashad
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
...if he remains convinced that the incident was indeed Rashad’s fault. Soon after, Rashad’s brother Spoony arrives. Spoony and David do not get along well. Spoony wears his hair in dreadlocks,... (full context)
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Jessica tells Spoony to calm down, but this only angers him further. He recites statistics about police racism,... (full context)
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
Berry, who is Spoony’s girlfriend and English’s older sister, is at the hospital too. Rashad drifts in and out... (full context)
5. Sunday: Rashad
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
American Culture, Values, and Patriotism Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Heroes vs. Villains Theme Icon
...together, with Pastor Johnson reciting Biblical figures who were subjected to oppression, persecution, and suffering. Spoony arrives and Pastor Johnson observes that he hasn’t seen him at church; Spoony responds sarcastically.... (full context)
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
American Culture, Values, and Patriotism Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
...beaten, noting that the victim has been identified as “sixteen-year-old Rashad Butler of West Springfield.” Spoony explains that he and Berry sent Rashad’s information to the news. David explodes with anger,... (full context)
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
American Culture, Values, and Patriotism Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Heroes vs. Villains Theme Icon
A photo of Rashad in his ROTC uniform appears on the news, and Spoony explains that he supplied the photo in order to control “the narrative.” Rashad is embarrassed... (full context)
10. Tuesday: Rashad
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
American Culture, Values, and Patriotism Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Heroes vs. Villains Theme Icon
Later, Jessica and Rashad are watching Family Feud when Spoony and Berry arrive. Berry is in law school, which pleases David. She is also beautiful;... (full context)
12. Wednesday: Rashad
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
American Culture, Values, and Patriotism Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Heroes vs. Villains Theme Icon
...a black kid (Darnell Shackleford) in a fight. He notes that Darnell was dressed like Spoony, with dreads, a hoodie, and sagging pants. David immediately grabbed Darnell, who tried to run... (full context)
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
American Culture, Values, and Patriotism Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Heroes vs. Villains Theme Icon
...down. David explains that at the time, Rashad was too young to understand, but that Spoony remembers everything that happened in the aftermath: “The news. The drama.” David admits that he... (full context)
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
American Culture, Values, and Patriotism Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Heroes vs. Villains Theme Icon
...emphasizes that most cops are actually good. Rashad adds that most guys who look like Spoony aren’t criminals, but David warns that he doesn’t know everything. David then explains that Jessica... (full context)
14. Thursday: Rashad
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
American Culture, Values, and Patriotism Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Heroes vs. Villains Theme Icon
...is marching for Darnell as much as himself. Later that night, English, Shannon, Carlos, and Spoony come over, and Jessica orders Mother’s Pizza. The boys explain what has been happening at... (full context)
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
...it was him who did the graffiti outside school. Carlos denies it with a smile. Spoony begins discussing the protest; when Rashad expresses concern about his friends missing basketball practice, they... (full context)
16. Friday: Rashad
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Heroes vs. Villains Theme Icon
...shows images of the cops in paramilitary gear preparing for the protest. Rashad thinks about Spoony’s stories of marching in different cities, and the pain of being tear-gassed. Rashad asks if... (full context)
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
...clippings of The Family Circus. He thinks about how innocent he was as a child. Spoony comes in, wearing all black. Rashad dresses in all black too, and goes down to... (full context)
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
American Culture, Values, and Patriotism Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Heroes vs. Villains Theme Icon
The crowd chants. Rashad locks arms with Spoony, Carlos, English, Berry, and Shannon, and the group of them end up at the very... (full context)