Topics for Discussion
1. Discuss how Hazel's upbeat, idiomatic narration—or narration rich in dialect—contributes to the theme of achieving selfhood in "Raymond's Run."
2. When Gretchen and Hazel first meet, they smile a false smile, because, in Hazel's view "girls never really smile at each other." What do you suppose she means by this statement? How would you characterize the smile the rivals share following the May Day race?
3. Discuss the metaphor of the race and what significance it holds for Hazel—and for Raymond. Why is the story titled "Raymond's Run" rather than "Hazel's Run"?
4. Does this story have special impact because of its urban setting in the late 1960s or early 1970s? How would the story be different if it were set in the 2000s?
5. Examine Hazel's relationship with her brother, Raymond. What is it about his running that causes Hazel to view him with new understanding?
6. Discuss Bambara's view of community and the role it plays in "Raymond's Run."