Dear Justyce

Dear Justyce

by

Nic Stone

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Dear Justyce can help.
Trey is one of Quan’s best friends in Black Jihad. He’s two years older and, like Quan, he’s Black, has an incarcerated father, and his mother is absent and neglectful. The boys meet when Quan is 13 and Trey is 15, and Quan knows at this point that Trey is trouble—they meet for the first time at the police station, where Trey is being booked. Trey understands that in the aftermath of his first arrest, Quan desperately needs a friend who understands what he’s going through. He validates that being arrested is a frightening experience and that the justice system isn’t entirely fair. He recognizes, for instance, the ridiculousness of treating young Black boys like adults when they commit crimes, even though they’re children. But Trey doesn’t believe that there are many avenues for young Black boys like himself and Quan. So a year later, he takes Quan to meet Martel and, ultimately, to join the Black Jihad gang. Trey seems to have a sixth sense and can pick up on when a person is feeling off, so he’s the one Quan finally tells about Dwight’s abuse. This culminates in Dwight’s murder once Martel finds out. Trey seldom appears in person in the novel after Quan is imprisoned, though Quan learns that he’s been supporting and helping out Mama. At the end of the novel, Quan learns that Trey and his girlfriend are expecting a baby and that Trey is thrilled to become a father.

Trey Quotes in Dear Justyce

The Dear Justyce quotes below are all either spoken by Trey or refer to Trey. 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:
Choices vs. Fate Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Crown Books edition of Dear Justyce published in 2020.
Chapter 5: Delinquent Quotes

Trey couldn’t have known it (or maybe he could’ve?), but in that moment, Quan didn’t actually want to be alone.

He needed a friend.

Someone who cared.

Because from the moment Mama and Quan had stepped out of the fluorescent-lit law-and-order lair into the crisp Georgia evening, it was crystal clear to Quan that she no longer did.

Related Characters: Quan Banks, Trey, Mama
Related Symbols: The Rocket Ship
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:

“It’s this ceremony where a young Jewish dude becomes ‘accountable for his actions.’” He used air quotes. “So he goes from ‘boy’ to ‘man,’ essentially. Lawyer homie is sitting there all geeked, telling me about it, and I’m thinking to myself: So your son is a grown man by Jewish standards, yet still gets treated like a kid. Meanwhile ain’t no ceremonies for kids like us, but if we get in trouble we get treated like adults.”

Related Characters: Trey (speaker), Quan Banks
Related Symbols: The Rocket Ship
Page Number: 76
Explanation and Analysis:
April 24; Snapshot: A Postscript (Present Day) Quotes

I guess I didn’t realize just how big of a difference it could make to have somebody really believe in you. I been thinking a lot about Trey and Mar and Brad and them. We were all looking for the same things, man—support, protection, family, that type of shit. And we found SOME of it in one another, but we couldn’t really give each other no type of encouragement to do nothing GOOD because nobody was really giving US any. Matter fact, we typically got the opposite. People telling us how “bad” we were. Constantly looking at us like they expected only the worst.

How the hell’s a person supposed to give something they ain’t never had?

Related Characters: Quan Banks (speaker), Justyce, Martel, Trey, Brad, DeMarcus
Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:
June 14 Quotes

This is a real-ass Catch-22. I read that shit a couple weeks ago. (HELLA trippy book.) The only way to stay OUT of what I really have no choice but to go back to is to stay IN here. But the longer I’m IN here, the more debt I’ll rack up for when I do get OUT.

Kind of a no-win, ain’t it?

Story of my damn life.

Related Characters: Quan Banks (speaker), Justyce, Martel, Trey
Page Number: 207
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Dear Justyce LitChart as a printable PDF.
Dear Justyce PDF

Trey Character Timeline in Dear Justyce

The timeline below shows where the character Trey appears in Dear Justyce. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4: Defiance
Justice, Racial Bias, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...says hi. Quan recognizes the boy, but can’t remember if his name is Dre or Trey. He remembers finding this boy in the rocket ship, counting money as another guy ran... (full context)
March 12
Choices vs. Fate Theme Icon
Identity, Support, and Community Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Violence Theme Icon
...her makes Quan wonder how things might’ve turned out had he met her instead of Trey at 13. She’s Trey’s age, 19, and attends Emory University. But as a kid, she... (full context)
Choices vs. Fate Theme Icon
Identity, Support, and Community Theme Icon
...her bright spots.” And all this has Quan wondering what might have been. Quan and Trey met at the police station and when they were both released, Trey sought Quan out.... (full context)
Chapter 5: Delinquent
Justice, Racial Bias, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity, Support, and Community Theme Icon
Family, Loyalty, and Belonging Theme Icon
Trey is waiting for Quan inside the rocket ship. Quan came to the playground hoping to... (full context)
Justice, Racial Bias, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Back in the rocket ship, Trey asks if Quan is going to cry and assures him it’s okay if he does.... (full context)
Choices vs. Fate Theme Icon
Justice, Racial Bias, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity, Support, and Community Theme Icon
Family, Loyalty, and Belonging Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Violence Theme Icon
Trey says it’s crazy—he had a white lawyer once whose son was having his bar mitzvah... (full context)
Family, Loyalty, and Belonging Theme Icon
...gets lucky with his second arrest. He’d just gotten caught with a tiny pistol from Trey, which is a misdemeanor. But the juvenile court DA gives Quan community service and tells... (full context)
Justice, Racial Bias, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Violence Theme Icon
When Quan gets out, Trey has also had an interesting year. His grandma died, he was expelled for drinking at... (full context)
Snapshot: A Boy Meeting a Man (2016)
Justice, Racial Bias, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Violence Theme Icon
Quan is nervous, even though he’s been hanging with Trey and the other guys for a while now. He’s only ever been on the porch—it’s... (full context)
April 4
Justice, Racial Bias, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity, Support, and Community Theme Icon
Then, there’s the thing where Black kids like Quan and Trey get punished more harshly than white kids for the same crimes. If Quan had a... (full context)
Chapter 6: Disclose
Identity, Support, and Community Theme Icon
Family, Loyalty, and Belonging Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Violence Theme Icon
...never seen a kiss so tender in real life. One member of the couple is Trey. Trey has a sixth sense and can tell when things are wrong, so he kisses... (full context)
Chapter 7: Disaster
Survival, Poverty, and Violence Theme Icon
...happen. Martel confirms that people are leaving and then tells Brad to sit outside with Trey, DeMarcus, and Quan. Quan rushes after Brad. By the time Quan gets to the car,... (full context)
Justice, Racial Bias, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Family, Loyalty, and Belonging Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Violence Theme Icon
Trey pops the hatch of Martel’s Range Rover and sits in it. He instructs Brad to... (full context)
Survival, Poverty, and Violence Theme Icon
The cop car turns the corner and Brad, apparently having lost a bet, gives Trey money. The cruiser pulls across the driveway and stops, blocking oncoming traffic. Two officers get... (full context)
April 24; Snapshot: A Postscript (Present Day)
Identity, Support, and Community Theme Icon
Family, Loyalty, and Belonging Theme Icon
...didn’t realize it would make such a difference to have someone to believe in him. Trey, DeMarcus, and Brad were all looking for support, protection, and family, but nobody gave them... (full context)
Chapter 10: Dasia
Family, Loyalty, and Belonging Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Violence Theme Icon
...she lost her job, one of Quan’s friends came to check on them. It was Trey. Quan feels guilt, anger, and fear. He hasn’t heard from his friends, but does this... (full context)
Snapshot: A Black Boy (and a White Boy) Visits a Black Man (and a White Boy)
Justice, Racial Bias, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...familiar with the kind of people he’ll serve eventually. But when Justyce catches sight of Trey, he remembers Jared’s ill-fated Halloween experiment two years ago. Trey greets Justyce warmly. Brad comes... (full context)
Choices vs. Fate Theme Icon
Justice, Racial Bias, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity, Support, and Community Theme Icon
Family, Loyalty, and Belonging Theme Icon
...too. Quan won’t exist anymore, but he’ll have to pay his debt back with interest. Trey will contact Justyce with the details, and Justyce will be the responsible party. Martel warmly... (full context)
Snapshot: Two Young Men on a New (To Them) Playground
Identity, Support, and Community Theme Icon
...asks if the guys in Black Jihad are doing well, and Justyce says they are. Trey is going to be a dad soon, and he’s over the moon about it. Quan... (full context)