Mr. Lewis grumbles the morning after Khalil’s death about how Maverick Carter replaces the picture of Martin Luther King Jr. with Huey Newton.
Huey Newton was the cofounder of the Black Panther Party, a radical civil rights group that sought to further the goals of better housing, jobs, and opportunities for African Americans.
Maverick almost lives by the Black Panther Ten-Point Program, a list of guiding principles that the Black Panther Party created and championed. As a founder of this organization, Newton played an important role in the development of these principles. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that Maverick would hang Newton’s picture in his store.
From a deeper perspective, the reader can infer that Maverick believes it is important to champion black men who made a difference in working toward the goals of equality. Although King is an important historical civil rights leader, Maverick believes that people like Newton deserve recognition and respect within his community as well. He believes it is important to provide examples of strong black male role models for the younger generation, and he tries to live out this mission in part by educating them about his predecessors like Huey Newton.
By hanging his portrait in the store he owns and operates, Maverick demonstrates his dedication to his community.