By: Kayla Stephensen
Starr Carter, portrayed by Amandla Stenberg, lives a double life and has to learn to adjust to her predominantly black neighborhood where she grew up and her predominantly white high school. After her childhood best friend is shot and killed by a white police officer, she has to find a way to break the wall she placed between her separate lives. She learns to use her voice as her weapon in a situation where violence is the go to. She gets rid of her controlling best friend who had always used her, and she brings home her white boyfriend to her black dad.
Throughout the entire movie, Starr does not want to cause a big fuss out of everything and prefers to lay low in both lives. At one point, her dad lines up the kids on the front lawn and teaches them a lesson. He explains, “I gave you each power in your names, Seven: perfection, Starr: light, Sekani: joy.” Starr breaks out of her box and lets her light shine by the end of the movie, living up to her name. She speaks through a microphone at a march against the ruling of the jury. She finally lets kids at her school see how she really lives. She witnesses for Khalil, her childhood best friend, to that same jury.
In the same lesson about her name, Starr is reminded by her dad what it means to fight for something. He takes off his outer shirt and exposes his shoulder tattoo which lists the names of Starr’s mom and siblings. That is a list of who Mr. Carter would live for and who he would die for. Khalil was always the friend who would stick up for Starr no matter what and he was a friend she would live for and die for. So she painstakingly decided to witness for him even at the risk of being exposed in front of her schoolmates or the gang in her neighborhood.