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.
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
10. Tuesday: Rashad
12. Wednesday: Rashad
14. Thursday: Rashad