Hazel Elizabeth Deborah Parker comes to life in “Raymond’s Run” by Toni Cade Bambara as the first person narrator in the story. Hazel, who is known in her Brooklyn neighbor as Squeaky, pours out her feelings and emotions through the language she uses. She narrates the story using the imperfect, neighborhood language she hears spoken as opposed to using “school language.” She gets her point across as she describes herself and her life in the neighborhood. The reader gets to know the tough, little girl whose main passion is running, as she describes herself with colorful language.
I’m ready to fight, cause like I said I don’t feature a whole lot of chit-chat, I much prefer to just knock you down right from the jump and save everybody lotta precious time.
She also provides moments of profound thought and brings the reader into all facets of her life. Squeaky is a girl who “wears her heart on her sleeve.” The reader is drawn to her honesty, and at the end of the story, her change of heart about being selfish to being selfless.