A week after Richard is robbed, his cousin Lloyd—a “goofy and boisterous” kid two years older than Richard—stops by O High. The school security guard thinks Lloyd is “a big old baby,” but she makes him wait outside anyway. Lloyd has already asked Richard to skip class, but he refused, so now Lloyd waits for the end of the day. When Richard finally comes outside, he hugs the security guard. “Bye, Auntie,” Richard says. Later, the security guard recalls, “I’m telling you, I didn’t feel nothing but love when he hugged me.”
Here, both Richard and Lloyd disrupt widespread stereotypes of black inner-city youth as hardened and destructive criminals. Lloyd’s description as a “goofy and boisterous” “big old baby” and Richard’s behavior (remaining in school and lovingly hugging the security guard) are not consistent with typical assumptions of violence and delinquency.