Starr tries to keep the two worlds separate, but they both come crashing together after she bears witness to police brutality. Her childhood friend, Khalil, is shot and killed by a white male police officer while Starr sits in the passenger seat. He was shot for holding a hairbrush.
While the black community protested his death, Starr had to simultaneously go watch her white classmates take advantage of his death and skip school to “protest.” The director made sure to include various views into the movie, from her white school friends to her Uncle Carlos, a black cop. However, her dad, Maverick, influenced her the most. He taught her The Black Panthers’ Ten Point Program and told her to use her voice to make a change.
After Khalil’s murder, there was a fork in the road ahead for Starr. She needed to make a decision between preserving her reputation and speaking up for her childhood friend. It was clear what her dad wanted her to do but the decision was up to her; will she stay quiet or speak against police brutality.
The urgency to address police brutality brought up by the movie is ever impending. It’s our generation that needs to stand up and make a difference. Students shouldn’t take advantage of the cause and skip school. It has to be for the right reasons. It has to be a passionate and united fight — the fight to stop T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E.. In the end, the movie perfectly depicts a powerful message.