All American Boys

by

Jason Reynolds

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Rashad’s Drawing Symbol Icon

Rashad has been into art since he was a child, when he was inspired by newspaper comics to start drawing. As he’s gotten older, he has developed more sophisticated sources of inspiration, such as the Harlem Renaissance painter Aaron Douglas. While he is in the hospital, Rashad creates a drawing of the incident at Jerry’s. The drawing impresses the adults around him, such as Clarissa and Jessica. They are impressed not only by Rashad’s technical skill, but also by his creative response to the incident. Rashad’s drawing is thus a sign of the maturity Rashad is forced to develop as a young black man confronting the harsh realities of racism and violence. At the same time, it also indicates Rashad’s ability to take control of the narrative surrounding his arrest. While he spends much of the novel being taunted by endless news items in which commentators and community members speculate on what happened to him, in his drawing Rashad is able to assert himself and present his own interpretation of what took place at Jerry’s.

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Rashad’s Drawing Symbol Timeline in All American Boys

The timeline below shows where the symbol Rashad’s Drawing appears in All American Boys. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
8. Monday: Rashad
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
...begins to draw a picture of what happened to him at Jerry’s. While he is drawing, Clarissa enters with his food. She says she could tell he was an artist, and... (full context)
10. Tuesday: Rashad
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
American Culture, Values, and Patriotism Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
...comments about Rashad’s appearance. Rashad mutes the TV and gets back to work on his drawing. Clarissa comes in, and Rashad thanks her for all her kindness. On TV, the police... (full context)
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
American Culture, Values, and Patriotism Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Heroes vs. Villains Theme Icon
...an upset stomach. She gives Rashad an envelope from Chief Killabrew, and asks what he’s drawing. When Rashad shows her his drawing, she starts to cry. She reminds Rashad that he... (full context)
12. Wednesday: Rashad
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
American Culture, Values, and Patriotism Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
...the protest despite his own fear. In a flurry of energy, he returns to his drawing, and for the first time includes facial features in the figures he draws. (full context)
14. Thursday: Rashad
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Heroes vs. Villains Theme Icon
...happy to hear that he is going home. She asks if he ever finished his drawing, and is extremely impressed by the final product. Clarissa comments on the fact that Rashad... (full context)