The 57 Bus

The 57 Bus

by

Dashka Slater

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Jasmine Character Analysis

Richard and Derriyon’s mother, Savannah’s sister, and Derick’s wife. Jasmine gives birth to Richard when she is just fifteen years old, but she is a dedicated and attentive mother. She doesn’t meet Derick until Richard is five years old, and the couple have Derriyon a few years later. Jasmine also becomes the legal guardian of her sister Savannah’s two daughters after Savannah is killed in a drive-by shooting. Jasmine is employed in the kitchen of a long-term care facility, and she works hard to make sure that her kids are provided for and have a good life. She is heartbroken after Richard’s attack on Sasha, and she is determined to apologize to Sasha and their family, “mother to mother, parent to parent.” Still, Jasmine is supportive of Richard, and she “scrapes together” the money to hire a lawyer and is present during every court appearance, even when she has a difficult getting time off work from her two jobs.

Jasmine Quotes in The 57 Bus

The The 57 Bus quotes below are all either spoken by Jasmine or refer to Jasmine. 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:
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Macmillan edition of The 57 Bus published in 2017.
Part 2: Hopes and Prayers Quotes

These were big dreams in her part of town. Of the roughly six hundred African American boys who started Oakland high schools as freshmen each year, only about three hundred ended up graduating. Fewer than one hundred graduated with the requirements needed to attend California state college or university. The odds of landing in the back of a police cruiser, on the other hand, were much better. African American boys made up less than 30 percent of Oakland’s underage population but accounted for nearly 75 percent of all juvenile arrests.

Related Characters: Richard, Jasmine
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3: God Is Good Quotes

Donald Williams Jr., an African American freshman at San Jose Sate University, had been relentlessly bullied by the white students he lived with a four-bedroom dormitory suite. The white kids, also freshmen, had insisted on calling Williams “three-fifths,” a reference to the clause in the original US Constitution that counted slaves as three-fifths of a person when determining population for representation in Congress. They clamped a bike lock around his neck and claimed to have lost the key. They wrote Nigger on a whiteboard and draped a Confederate flag over a cardboard cutout of Elvis Presley in suite’s living room. They locked him in his room. And they claimed it was all just a series of good-natured pranks. In the end, three eighteen-year-old white students were expelled for what they did to Williams, and a seventeen-year-old was suspended. The three who were expelled were also charged in criminal court. The charge: misdemeanor battery with a hate-crime enhancement, which carried a maximum penalty of a year and a half in county jail. A jury eventually convicted all three of battery but acquitted one of the students of the hate-crime charge and deadlocked the others.

Related Characters: Richard, Jasmine, Regis
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4: Restorative Justice Quotes

“RJ isn’t a guarantee of leniency,” Baliga cautioned. “It’s about dispensing with punitiveness for its own sake and trying to produce an outcome that will be more healing for everyone involved.”

Still, Baliga knew that there was little hope of diverting Richard from the criminal justice system entirely. “Given the severity of the harm to Sasha, we didn’t expect that the DA would allow the case to be diverted to restorative justice,” she said.

But if anyone seemed right for restorative justice, it was these two families, who had already expressed compassion for one another. “They were perfect candidates for this dialogue,” she said. “All of them were such gorgeously enlightened, beautiful people.”

Related Characters: Sujatha Baliga (speaker), Sasha, Richard, Debbie, Karl, Jasmine
Page Number: 241
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The 57 Bus LitChart as a printable PDF.
The 57 Bus PDF

Jasmine Character Timeline in The 57 Bus

The timeline below shows where the character Jasmine appears in The 57 Bus. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: Hopes and Prayers
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
Jasmine, Richard’s mother, gave birth to Richard when she was just fourteen years old. Richard’s real... (full context)
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
Within two years, Jasmine gave birth to Derriyon, Richard’s younger brother, and suddenly their small family had six members.... (full context)
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
But these are “big dreams in [Jasmine’s] part of town,” Slater writes. Each year about six hundred African American boys begin high... (full context)
Part 2: Where He Left Off
Adolescent Crime vs. Adult Crime Theme Icon
...everyone in his life, Richard is “the funny one, the one who makes people smile.” Jasmine begins to plan a trip to Disneyland for the family, and she questions if Richard... (full context)
Part 2: Now It’s a Good Day
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
...one six-hour period.” Richard heard about his friend’s death while he was in Redding. When Jasmine told him, Richard immediately burst into tears. “He didn’t even hang up,” Slater writes. “Just... (full context)
Part 2: Working
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
Accountability, Redemption, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...Richard “loves having a job,” and he is good at it, too. He even offers Jasmine money for bills. Richard “likes being a man with a paycheck.” (full context)
Part 2: Resolve
Adolescent Crime vs. Adult Crime Theme Icon
...Kaprice in her office and tells her about the whole ordeal. Then he gives her Jasmine’s phone number. Richard wants Kaprice and Jasmine to be friends so his mother will know... (full context)
Part 3: Watching
Adolescent Crime vs. Adult Crime Theme Icon
Accountability, Redemption, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...off the 57 bus too, and the three board another waiting bus. Later at home, Jasmine notices that Richard is “sad,” but he doesn’t tell her why. (full context)
Part 3: I Knew My Baby
Adolescent Crime vs. Adult Crime Theme Icon
Watching television at home, Jasmine watches as the police arrest a suspect for the fire on the 57 bus. The... (full context)
Part 3: Miranda Warning
Adolescent Crime vs. Adult Crime Theme Icon
Accountability, Redemption, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
“Why did you talk?” Jasmine asks Richard later. She tells him that he should have waited for a lawyer, but... (full context)
Part 3: Court Date
Binary Thought and Inclusive Language Theme Icon
...of the online papers “seethe with outrage.” People take to Facebook and condemn Richard and Jasmine. “Lock him up,” they say. “Throw away the key. Lock up the mother too while... (full context)
Part 3: Reeling
Adolescent Crime vs. Adult Crime Theme Icon
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
Jasmine feels as if “the world has spun off its axis.” She can’t believe that Richard... (full context)
Part 3: God Is Good
Adolescent Crime vs. Adult Crime Theme Icon
...they say, “but it’s also a crime to try a child as an adult.” As Jasmine watches her son enter the courtroom, she whispers to herself, “God is good, God is... (full context)
Adolescent Crime vs. Adult Crime Theme Icon
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
Regis tells Jasmine and the rest of the family about a group of white kids who have recently... (full context)
Part 4: Cruel and Unusual?
Adolescent Crime vs. Adult Crime Theme Icon
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
As Richard enters the courtroom in mid-January, he is sure not to smile at Jasmine, so people won’t think “he doesn’t have compassion for Sasha.” Others may think his smile... (full context)
Part 4: Back at Juvie
Accountability, Redemption, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...Richard and Richard accepts, since “he, too, hoped to be forgiven.” “Forgive, but don’t forget,” Jasmine says. Richard tells her to “stop saying that.” Richard says, “you have to forget. Because... (full context)
Part 4: What If?
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
Jasmine tries to “focus on the positive,” like what they will all learn from this awful... (full context)
Part 4: Not Ready
Accountability, Redemption, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...for the thick stockings Sasha must wear to prevent scars from forming on their legs. Jasmine asks to meet with Sasha and their parents to formally apologize “mother to mother, parent... (full context)
Part 4: What to Say
Accountability, Redemption, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
After Richard’s first evidentiary hearing in March, Jasmine “dashes over to speak” to Sasha and their family. “My son’s not like that,” she... (full context)
Part 4: Ripples
Accountability, Redemption, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...Darris, prison “harms the whole community, it has ripple effects up and down.” He pitches Jasmine “something called restorative justice.” Darris thinks perhaps Richard and Sasha’s families can “come together to... (full context)
Part 4: Restorative Justice
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
Accountability, Redemption, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...of Richard’s case from the beginning. She doesn’t, however, try to get in touch with Jasmine. “I’m not here to peddle restorative justice,” Sujatha says. If she is needed, they will... (full context)
Part 4: Tired
Accountability, Redemption, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...case makes little progress. Each court date only sets a new court date, and all Jasmine does is work and wait. The press stops covering the case, but the plainly dressed... (full context)
Part 4: Bargaining
Adolescent Crime vs. Adult Crime Theme Icon
Binary Thought and Inclusive Language Theme Icon
Accountability, Redemption, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...hate-crime clauses. Du Bois thinks Richard should take it. Du Bois communicates very little with Jasmine, who still doesn’t know if Richard will be tried as an adult should the case... (full context)
Part 4: Victim-Impact Statement
Adolescent Crime vs. Adult Crime Theme Icon
Accountability, Redemption, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...better after addressing Richard directly, but Karl can’t get over how young Richard looked. “Poor Jasmine,” Debbie says. “She lost her son for years to come. […] I hope they can... (full context)
Part 4: Progress Report
Binary Thought and Inclusive Language Theme Icon
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
...system and not go to an adult prison. Richard is coming in from Chad, and Jasmine had to get the day off from work—she has recently started a second job. (full context)
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
Accountability, Redemption, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...misplaced, and the judge is forced to postpone the progress report until the following week. Jasmine “slumps” in her seat. She will never get another day off from work. The judge... (full context)
Part 4: A Level of Maturity
Adolescent Crime vs. Adult Crime Theme Icon
...reduces Richard sentence to five years, and recommends that he stay within the juvenile system. Jasmine was able to get the day off after all, and she is “relieved” by the... (full context)