Summary: Chapter 3
The police leave Khalil’s body in the street, and Starr feels sick as she watches police officers comfort One-Fifteen. Starr’s parents, Maverick and Lisa, bring her home.
Starr remembers playing in the street with Natasha and getting caught in a gang-related shooting. Starr fell into a rose bush but survived. Natasha died. Natasha and Khalil’s deaths blur together in Starr’s mind.
Over breakfast, Lisa offers Starr regular bacon, and Maverick complains about pork in his house because the Nation of Islam avoids it. Seven reveals that King, the leader of the King Lords, has moved in with Seven’s mother, Iesha.
Starr recounts the shooting and emphasizes that Khalil was unarmed. Starr worries about facing backlash if news leaks that she witnessed Khalil’s death. Her parents agree to let her keep it secret and decide not to tell Sekani, Starr’s younger brother. Starr swore she would speak out against police brutality, but now she cannot bring herself to speak up.
Starr ponders the similarities between herself and Will, the protagonist of her favorite TV show, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” After Natasha’s death, Lisa sent Starr and her siblings to Williamson, just like how Will moved to Bel-Air after trouble in his neighborhood. Unlike Will, Starr must separate her Garden Heights and Williamson selves. She cannot even invite her Williamson friends to her house.
Starr and Maverick open the family’s store for the day. Mr. Lewis, the barber, arrives and rekindles an old argument with Maverick over replacing the photo of Martin Luther King Jr. with one of Huey Newton, the founder of the Black Panther Party. Mr. Lewis blames Khalil for his death because he dealt drugs. Other Garden Heights residents arrive, including Mrs. Rooks. Mrs. Rooks asks Maverick to help Ms. Rosalie, Khalil’s grandmother, pay for Khalil’s funeral. Mrs. Rooks comments on how beautiful Starr is, and Maverick jokes Starr can’t date until she’s forty. Starr hasn’t told Maverick about her boyfriend, Chris, because she knows Maverick wouldn’t approve of her dating a white boy.
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