Summary: Chapter 18
That Sunday, Lisa and Maverick bring Starr, Seven, and Sekani to a neighborhood called Brook Falls. The neighborhood looks like Uncle Carlos’s, but it’s not gated and more diverse. They arrive at a house, and Maverick and Lisa announce that once the mortgage is approved, this house will be theirs. Sekani asks Maverick if he’s OK living in the suburbs with the “fake” people, as Maverick calls them. Maverick has decided that being “real” is not about where they live, and the most important thing he can do is protect his family.
The family eats lunch on the floor of the kitchen. Lisa tells Seven she wants him to make his room his own for when he’s home from college. Sekani tattles that Seven is planning to go to Central Community. Maverick and Lisa are furious, telling him he cannot miss out on the opportunities he would get from the prestigious schools that offered him scholarships. Maverick insists that Kenya and Lyric are not Seven’s responsibility, but that Seven is his responsibility. He says Seven should choose a college he wants to attend, not one he feels obligated to attend.
Back in Garden Heights, gunshots interrupt the family watching television. Maverick grabs his gun. Starr worries that Maverick will get shot, but he returns unharmed. The gunmen shoot through the front of the house and throw a brick through the front window.
Lisa calls Uncle Carlos. Neighbors come to check on them, but no one knows who fired the shots. Starr feels sick, realizing that this is a message for her. When Uncle Carlos arrives, he asks whether Maverick called the police. Maverick insists that the police may have been the ones who shot at them. Uncle Carlos insists it had to have been the King Lords. Lisa argues that no matter who shot at them, Starr’s safety supersedes everything. Starr insists she will protect the family by not testifying. Maverick orders her to recite part of the Black Panthers’ Ten-Point Program and Malcolm X’s objective and asks why she wants to be quiet when armed with those words.
Inwardly, Starr still worries. The Black Panthers disbanded and Malcolm X was murdered. Goon, a member of the Cedar Grove King Lords, arrives. Maverick asked him and others to provide security for the family over the next two days. Uncle Carlos threatens not to come to the courthouse if gang members are accompanying them. Maverick accuses him of refusing to protect Starr because he’s afraid of being seen with gang members. Uncle Carlos reminds Maverick of how he cared for Starr and Seven while Maverick was in prison. He storms out of the house.
Summary: Chapter 19
Starr awakens to the smell of bacon and a feeling of dread. Today is the day she will try to secure justice for Khalil. The kitchen is full of Cedar Grove King Lords. Lisa, Aunt Pam, and Nana cook breakfast. After Starr takes her plate, Lisa asks her to bring food out to Maverick and Uncle Carlos. Starr is shocked to find they’ve talked out their differences. Nana calls Starr to come and get ready.