Starr wakes up on the day of the grand jury to find her kitchen area filled with Cedar Grove King Lords. She brings a plate of food out to Radical and Carlos, who are sitting in the back of Maverick’s Tahoe. The 2 guys have spoken to each and made up for Starr’s sake.
The King Lords drive with Starr and her household to the courthouse. Not just is Starr worried about the trial, but the court house also brings back memories of her father’s conviction and imprisonment. Starr’s moms and dads comfort her in the moments before she needs to enter the jury room, reassuring her that she is brave for doing exactly what she hesitates of. In the grand jury, the DA questions Starr about the night of the events. Starr discovers the experience uncomfortable, however understands that she has to do what she can to bring Khalil justice.
Chapter 20 is set eight weeks after Khalil’s death. It’s been two weeks because Starr talked to the grand jury, and she and her family and community are on edge. At school, Hailey faces Starr with a photo from her twelfth birthday celebration: Khalil is in the shot, implying that Starr lied to Hailey about knowing him. Maya and Starr attempt to get Hailey to excuse her racist remarks, but she refuses, reaching to state that the officer did everybody a favor by killing a drug dealership.
Starr loses her temper and attacks Hailey, punching and kicking her. Hailey battles back, and when Hailey’s older brother Remy calls Starr an insane bitch, Seven appears and presses Remy away. Two security guards separate the fight, and all 4 are suspended for 3 days. Lisa picks up Starr and Seven and takes them house; Starr has an outburst of rage in the car, pounding the control panel in aggravation over the discomfort that Khalil’s death has brought her.
Back in the house, Lisa, Starr, and Seven find Maverick talking to a group of King Lords and Garden Disciples in the cooking area. He mentions that even if the jury fails to indict Officer Cruise, the gangs need to stop riots from happening again due to the fact that they leave hand and injure the black community. Maverick even gets Jerk, a King Lord, to shake hands with a Garden Disciple, marking the beginning of a type of unity in Garden Heights. He and Lisa choose not to punish 7 and Starr for the fight, knowing that they probably would have lashed out themselves if they were in their kids’s place.
Chapter 21 happens two weeks later on, on a Saturday. Starr’s household, her buddies, and 7’s buddies are all at Carlos’s home for 7’s birthday party, which doubles as a graduation party because he graduated from high school on Friday. Starr fidgets about whether she must act “white” or “black” given that DeVante, Kenya, Maya, and Chris are all at the party, however is eased when the five have a warm, joking discussion.
Starr’s family leads a group dance celebration. Ultimately, Starr heads inside to get something to consume, however the phone starts ringing– Iesha is at eviction, wanting to be let in. 7, Kenya, Starr, Lisa, and Maverick stroll to meet her. Iesha faces Seven about not welcoming her to the celebration, but Seven madly replies that Iesha has been a bad mother to him, not even bothering to show up to his graduation. He implicates Iesha of never ever caring him the manner in which he loved her. Prior to driving away, an irate Iesha warns Radical that King will hurt his family because Starr linked him throughout her interview.
Back inside, Kenya apologizes to Starr for Iesha’s threat. Starr says that she emphasizes with Iesha, knowing from her worry of speaking out about Khalil that it can be hard to stand up for oneself. She tells Kenya to encourage Iesha to decide, however Kenya is skeptical. The 2 girls head to the backyard, where Maverick and Lisa present 7 with a cake. The group sings happy birthday, eats cake, and spends the remainder of the night dancing and chuckling together.
Analysis of Chapters 19 – 21
Starr’s fear of the court house shows the cyclical nature of imprisonment brought about by violence and poverty in the face of an oppressive social and criminal justice system. Maverick was in prison at the very same time that his dad was; both men were pulled into the nebulous world of street gangs. In reality, Maverick was essentially jailed since of his daddy– he ended up being a King Lord at twelve, following in the steps of his big-time gangster dad. Maverick’s sacrifice for King enabled him to leave the King Lords; the truth that he had to take prison time to leave the game demonstrates the trouble of breaking a negative cycle.
The battle that Starr has with Hailey highlights an interesting brand-new element of her character. Starr explains that a stage of grief is anger, and she has much to be upset about, from Khalil’s death to her pal’s unapologetic racism. The reality that this anger in fact equates into violence points to how deeply rooted it is. Starr snaps because she is upset at recent occasions, and since of the progressively building tensions of sensation forced to hide vital parts of herself at Williamson. The racism and hate that imbues Starr’s environment pushes her to the breaking point, and her internal anger bubbles over into physical action.
Maverick’s ability to bring the King Lords and Garden Disciples together is a pivotal moment in the story of gang violence and competition checked out thus far in the book. Although he is by no ways able to end the turf wars that afflict Garden Heights, Maverick nonetheless makes the gang members comprehend that they are united versus a common opponent– race-based mistreatment in the police and in society as a whole. The conference in Radical’s kitchen area is a positive minute in the midst of chaos and unhappiness.
7’s celebration provides Starr the possibility to combine her two different worlds for the first time. She’s exceptionally worried about the minute that her Williamson friends satisfy her Garden Heights friends, and she’s uncertain how to act– what sort of words and expressions should she use? How should she conduct herself? The fact that Starr has the ability to relax and be her authentic self is testimony to the receptivity of her friends in addition to the vital reality that people are more comparable than different. Just because her 2 spheres of existence include different experiences and norms of behavior doesn’t mean that they can’t exist together in the neutral area of Carlos’s home.
The relationship between Iesha and 7 is a heartbreaking example of how the bonds of household unity can strain in the face of abuse and challenge. Although Seven always tried to secure his mom, he feels that she never reciprocated his love. It’s specifically painful that Iesha didn’t appear to his graduation, because this was a happy and substantial moment in his life. Still, Iesha feels the bonds of motherhood connecting her to her boy, and she is harmed and angry when she sees the distance that exists in between them. She is plainly misguided, however as Starr mentions, it can be very tough to discover a method to browse life when trapped in a frightening circumstance of abuse.