When Richard returned to Oakland after serving time in the Redding group home, it was the summer before his junior year. He immediately “signed up for a job-training program conducted by the Unity Council, an Oakland nonprofit, which led to an internship.” Now, 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.”
Richard’s desire for honest work again challenges stereotypical assumptions of criminality in black male teens. Richard likes his job, and he likes to contribute to his family and feel as if he is helping and making a difference. Again, this is not the behavior of an evil criminal, and this makes it much easier to believe that Richard never meant to hurt Sasha.