In Sharon M. Draper's Romiette and Julio, why does Julio refuse to hide from the family?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Sharon M. Draper's teen novel Romiette and Julio, Julio is very excited at the prospect of meeting Romiette's family and feels encouraged to do so by his own mother, Mrs. Montague.

By Chapter 26, the teen couple has made plans for Julio to come to Romi's house to pick out one of her Golden Retriever's puppies to adopt and meet her parents. Although by Chapter 29 Malaka has threatened Romi and Julio on behalf of the Devildogs should they continue spending time together, Romi and Julio remain dedicated to continuing their relationship. Romi comforts Julio by saying how excited her mother is to meet Julio, and Julio likewise says his own mother is supportive of their friendship. In fact, earlier in Chapter 26, Julio's mother had shown respect for his choice in Romi by complimenting Julio in saying, "If you see something golden in this girl, then her parents must have done a pretty good job of raising her, so they must be pretty special as well" (p. 131).

Hence, even though the couple is being threatened due to racial segregation imposed by the African-American gang The Devildogs and even though Julio's own father expresses his own prejudices and fears in his son continuing the relationship, Julio does not at all run from the opportunity to meet Romi's family. The primary reason why he doesn't run is due to the encouragement he receives from both Romi's and his own mother.