Summary of Chapters 16 – 18
Ms. Ofrah arranges for Starr to do an interview with a nationwide news program, one week before she will affirm in front of the grand jury. She helps Starr prepare for a week in advance; after practicing, Starr helps out at Just United States for Justice. On the way to the interview, Starr gets a text from Chris about the senior prom next Saturday; Chris and DeVante are becoming good friends.
The interviewer, Diane Carey, asks Starr who Khalil was to her, and Starr responds that he was a jokester with a huge heart– a kid. She states that Officer Cruise pointed his weapon at her, and she exposes why Khalil sold drugs, however points out that even if he had actually remained in a gang it wouldn’t have justified his shooting. Lastly, Carey asks her what she would say to Officer Cruise if he was sitting here. Starr says that she would ask him if he wanted he shot her too.
Starr’s interview is an immediate hit; by the next morning, it’s one of the most-watched interviews in the network’s history. A confidential donor provides to spend for Starr’s college tuition, and she receives a flood of e-mails and texts supporting her, consisting of one from Kenya. She likewise gets death threats, nevertheless, and a warning from King.
That Saturday, Starr goes to the prom with Chris, but he’s acting far-off. She and Maya dance together while Hailey continues to give them the cold shoulder. Finally, Chris chews out Starr after asking if she desires a picture together. Starr goes to conceal in the Rolls-Royce that Chris worked with to drive them. He climbs up inside the automobile, and tells Starr that he understands she’s the witness of Khalil’s death and is upset that she concealed it from him.
Starr describes that she liked that Chris might let her retain normality in her life and was afraid that he would see her as simply the lady from the hood. Chris assures Starr that he will not evaluate her, and Starr informs him about Natasha’s death and the trouble of maturing in hardship. Chris welcomes Starr and the 2 state “I love you” for the very first time. They return to the dance; Starr thinks that the night is among the very best of her life.
The next day, Starr’s family drives to the suburban areas to have a look at your home that Maverick and Lisa plan on purchasing. Radical confronts Seven about his plan to participate in community college, and encourages him to go to college away from home since it offers more opportunities. The family hopes together, and Lisa thanks her mom for giving her cash for the deposit.
Back in Garden Heights, Starr’s family enjoys a basketball video game together in the den. In the middle of the video game, gunshots sound out and bullets fly through a front window. Maverick runs to the door and shoots at a receding group of guys right after somebody throws a brick through the living-room window. Nobody is hurt, but Carlos comes over to survey the damage. He and Maverick debate whether the wrongdoers are King Lords or authorities aiming to frighten Starr on the night prior to she will testify to the grand jury. Starr insists that she will not testify since she doesn’t wish to endanger the family; Radical reacts by invoking the anti-oppression ideologies of Malcolm X and the Black Panthers. Carlos snaps when he discovers that Radical called 2 Cedar Grove King Lords to guard your home for the night.
Analysis of Chapters 16 – 18
The mixed responses to Starr’s interview define the extremely polarized environment surrounding the conversation of race and cops brutality in America today. While lots of applaud Starr’s bravery and value her point of view, others react with death hazards or basic indifference. As much as Starr attempts to safeguard Khalil and mention that his life choices didn’t impact the events surrounding his death, it’s clear that some people dismiss both Starr and Khalil by virtue of their backgrounds and their skin color.
Also, the problem Star experiences in enabling Chris to see all sides of her life shows her concern that he will dismiss her as “ghetto.” Even though Khalil and Natasha’s deaths were such considerable occasions in her life, Starr is reluctant to tell Chris about it, in part since she feels that his life has actually been so different from hers that he would be unable to understand the pain she’s gone through. Chris offers a different perspective: despite the fact that he and Starr are separated by their previous experiences, they can still open to each other, like each other, and accept each other.
Seven’s dispute over whether or not he ought to leave for college resembles Maverick’s inner turmoil about the decision to leave Garden Heights. Both 7 and Radical want what is best for their families. Seven wishes to secure his mom and sis from King’s abuse; Radical explains that it needs to be the function of a moms and dad to take care of their kid, not vice versa. The decision is made more complex by the reality that colleges found further away can provide better opportunities for 7 than the neighborhood college. Seven’s ultimate decision to accept Maverick’s advice and attend a various college reflects his determination to enhance his position in life and improve himself, however he still experiences conflict since he desires the best for those he enjoys.
In these chapters, readers can see Starr’s continued struggle as she is torn in between the requirement to speak and the urge to keep quiet. The nature of this worry has actually altered also. Earlier, Starr was reluctant to speak out since she wasn’t yet prepared, still reeling from the after-effects of Khalil’s death and not sure if she might even assist bring him to justice. After unknown assailants throw a brick through her window, nevertheless, Starr’s reluctance to use her voice on a national platform is related more towards fear that she will endanger her family than to personal fears about her own readiness for the difficulty. It takes Maverick’s Black Panther-based arguments to reorient her towards speaking up in the face of possible risk.
The Cedar Grove King Lord’s act of protection for Starr and her household contributes to the narrative that gang members can not be written off as punks or lawbreakers. Khalil and DeVante’s situations demonstrate how an absence of opportunities for bad, young black males can drive them towards the streets as a means of gaining subsistence and a surrogate household. While involvement in gangs typically leads towards jail time or death, lots of– such as DeVante and Khalil– feel as if they have no other option. In this way, the novel works to challenge preconceived views of gang members and offers insight into why street violence occurs.