Summary: Chapter 7
Khalil’s name appears for the first time in the news, but the report calls him a suspected drug dealer.
Meanwhile, Starr and her friends wait in the gym for class to start. Starr has forgiven Chris but doesn’t know how to handle Chris’s whiteness. She worries that by dating a white boy she is betraying her community.
Hailey gets angry over a group of girls flirting instead of playing competitively during a girls versus boys basketball game. She drags Maya and Starr onto the court. The boys agree to a game. Chris joins the game and guards Starr as an excuse to talk with her. When Chris scores, Hailey tells Starr to pretend the ball is fried chicken.
Shocked, Starr runs to the locker room. Hailey and Maya follow her, concerned. Starr demands to know why Hailey made a fried chicken joke. Hailey protests that it was fried chicken day at the cafeteria and is furious Starr would accuse her of racism. Hailey asks if Starr is upset about the drug dealer from her neighborhood. Maya asks if Starr knew Khalil. Starr realizes that by labeling Khalil a drug dealer, the media has cemented how the public perceives him. She worries that everyone at Williamson will see her as a thug if they know she was friends with Khalil. She denies knowing Khalil but instantly regrets it.
Hailey continues to interrogate Starr about her mood and asks if it’s the anniversary of Natasha’s death. Hailey claims to understand because she gets upset during the anniversary of her mother’s death, but admonishes Starr not to accuse friends of racism over grief. Starr silently blames herself for being a bad friend to Chris, Hailey, Natasha, and Khalil. She begins to sob. Her coach sends her to the school therapist. As much as Starr fears being an angry black girl, she fears being a weak black girl more. Instead of going to the therapist, she calls Uncle Carlos and asks him to pick her up.
Starr tells Uncle Carlos that she doesn’t know whether she deserves to go to Khalil’s funeral. Uncle Carlos assures Starr she would regret skipping, but admits he’s unsure he’ll be welcome because he is a cop. Starr asks Uncle Carlos if he would have shot Khalil. Uncle Carlos admits he doesn’t know what he would have done. Starr cries that One-Fifteen pointed his gun at her, which shocks Uncle Carlos. He hugs her and apologizes.