In "Raymond's Run," what does Raymond do before and after the race?

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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When examining the text, it becomes apparent that Raymond plays a pivotal role in Tony Cade Bambara’s short story “Raymond’s Run.” Although Hazel Elizabeth Deborah Parker, known as Squeaky, is the protagonist in the story, it is Raymond who teaches her an invaluable life lesson. Raymond lives with a developmental disability, and throughout the story Squeaky is in charge of his care. She takes him with her wherever she goes, and she defends him against the derogatory remarks made by neighborhood children.

On race day, Raymond is with Squeaky when she goes to the park to prepare for the race. She makes sure he is playing on the swings before she signs in to get her race number. Once the race is announced, Raymond gestures towards his sister as if to cheer her on. When she lines up for the race, she notices Raymond is lined up with her on the other side of the fence that separates the track from the grassy area. As Squeaky is running the race, she observes Raymond matching her stride for stride, albeit using his very unique running style. After the race ends, Raymond clamors to join Squeaky on the track side of the fence, but she tries to quiet him. Instead, Raymond quickly climbs over the fence to his excited sister. As her brother runs toward her, Squeaky realizes he has promise and potential.

So I stand there with my new plans, laughing out loud by this time as Raymond jumps down from the fence and runs over with his teeth showing and his arms down to the side, which no one before him has quite mastered as a running style.

And by the time he comes over I’m jumping up and down so glad to see him—my brother Raymond, a great runner in the family tradition.