Last Updated on March 8, 2021, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1023
The day the grand jury's decision is to be announced, Starr feels unsettled. The family has moved into their new home and it's still unfamiliar, so Starr calls Chris, who comes to collect her and takes her to his parents' very fancy house. He reiterates that he wants to be with Starr, even though they come from different worlds. They both agree they doubt One-Fifteen will be charged.
Seven calls to say that DeVante has walked out and is now missing. Starr texts her mother to explain where she is and asks Seven to come and pick up herself and Chris so they can help look for DeVante. They all travel back to Garden Heights.
Seven parks in front of Iesha's house in the projects. Kenya has told him that all the King Lords are in the backyard, so the group creeps into the house and finds Kenya on the floor in one of the bedrooms, with DeVante. DeVante is bleeding from his nose and mouth. He explains that the King Lords jumped him.
When Kenya mentions that King pushed her, Seven makes as if to go and find him, but his sisters stop him. They need to help DeVante out of the house, before he's killed.
Iesha appears and asks who Chris is. Her attitude is unfriendly, but she tells Seven to take DeVante out of the house, along with Kenya and Lyric, Seven's sister. Then Iesha goes out of the back door to where King is, and Starr realizes that Iesha is trying to protect her children.
In the car, Starr explains to Seven that Iesha wants him to take his sisters and DeVante to safety.
On the radio, the DJ announces that the grand jury has decided not to indict One-Fifteen in the death of Khalil.
Shouting breaks out in the neighborhood as Seven drives toward his grandmother's house. The inhabitants of the car are furious and devastated. They want to cry, burn something, hit someone, protest: Starr told the truth, but Khalil still won't receive any justice.
Kenya and Lyric get out at their grandmother's house. Seven asks if Chris wants to be taken home, but Chris says he's going to stay. DeVante says the reason he left the house was to visit his brother's grave in Garden Heights.
The streets of Garden Heights are thick with crowds, and Chris’s is the only white face. He realizes this is how Seven and Starr must feel at school.
People begin throwing Molotov cocktails, playing music, throwing rocks, and shattering glass. Several buildings are set on fire. Then a police car arrives, with two tanks, and the crowd turns on them.
Starr manages to persuade the boys to return to the car. She's worried that the rioters will ignore the "black owned" tags and loot Maverick's store. They decide to go and help him protect it, but there are roadblocks in the way, so Seven decides he will have to go the long way around, through the East Side.
The car runs out of gas halfway to the store. The boys try to push it, but it's impossible: they leave the car and decide they will find a can of gas and return with it.
A loudspeaker announces that the protestors are blocking traffic and need to clear the street, but April Ofrah, Starr's lawyer, is on top of a car, chanting, "A hairbrush is not a gun!" When she sees Starr, she asks what she's doing there and reminds her that her voice is her biggest weapon. She also tells her...
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that if the officers react, she must run to the bus by the intersection, then gives Starr her bullhorn.
Starr climbs on top of the car and announces that she was the witness to Khalil's death. She says she wants to talk not about how Khalil died, but the fact that he lived. "Khalil lived!" becomes the chant, until the police throw a can of tear gas at Starr. Starr catches it and throws it back at them.
Everyone begins running to the bus as the area fills with smoke. Chris and Seven help DeVante into a truck; a white man gets in, too, with a Latino man holding a camera. Starr realizes the white man is a news anchor covering the riots and that her protest has been filmed and broadcast.
When they reach Maverick's store, it is intact. They find milk in the refrigerators and pour it on their faces to calm the effects of the tear gas. Starr has multiple messages from her mother, but Maverick is nowhere in sight.
The group is heading toward his office when a glass bottle flies through the window and sets the store on fire.
This is the climax of the book, with multiple threads coming together. While it has long been suggested that Khalil will not receive justice through the system, which has always treated him as a drug dealer who caused his own death, this section shows the aftereffects of the decision not to indict One-Fifteen. It also shows the effects on DeVante of leaving the safe haven of Carlos's home, even for a moment. While Maverick and others may have taken steps to protect their neighborhood from rioters and looters who make things worse for everybody, in times of extreme anger, people are unable to think clearly, and violence returns to the fore. The violence occurs on all sides, but Chris in this section of the book is representative of white readers as he comes to recognize just how Black people feel in all-white environments, as well as why the neighborhood is so filled with rage, given the absolute injustice of the system that is supposed to protect them. Chris, by demonstrating willingness to learn and commitment to the cause, proves that he is worthy of being with Starr, but it is also clear that while he can be an ally to the Black community and his Black friends, he still can never quite grasp the complexities of being Black and living under a system that does not truly serve or protect.