The Hate U Give

Lisa Carter Character Analysis

Mother to Starr and Sekani, wife to Maverick, and step-mother to Seven, Lisa is a deeply loving and supportive presence in her children’s lives. After becoming pregnant with Starr as a teenager, Lisa was thrown out of her house by Nana and lived with Mrs. Rosalie, Khalil’s grandmother. She works as a nurse in a Garden Heights clinic and, along with Maverick, attempts to educate her children about racial injustice. She raises Seven like her own son, despite him being the product of Maverick’s affair with Iesha, and advises Starr to determine whether the good outweighs the bad in her own strained relationship with Hailey. Lisa desperately wants to move away from Garden Heights, something over which she frequently clashes with Maverick. At the end of the novel, Lisa obtains a higher paying job at a hospital to support the family’s move out to a safer neighborhood.

Lisa Carter Quotes in The Hate U Give

The The Hate U Give quotes below are all either spoken by Lisa Carter or refer to Lisa Carter. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism and Police Brutality  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Collins edition of The Hate U Give published in 2017.
Chapter 19 Quotes

“Brave doesn't mean you're not scared, Starr," she says. "It means you go on even though you're scared. And you're doing that."

Related Characters: Lisa Carter (speaker), Starr Carter
Page Number: 331
Explanation and Analysis:
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Lisa Carter Character Timeline in The Hate U Give

The timeline below shows where the character Lisa Carter appears in The Hate U Give. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2 
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Dueling Identities and Double Consciousness  Theme Icon
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...gave her when she was twelve about how to behave in front of police officers. Lisa, her mother, thought she was too young, but Maverick, her father, said she was old... (full context)
Chapter 3
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A distraught Maverick and Lisa arrive and take Starr home. They tenderly put her to bed. The following morning Starr... (full context)
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Dueling Identities and Double Consciousness  Theme Icon
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...responded to from her boyfriend Chris, who is white. She notes that while Seven and Lisa know about Chris and have accepted the relationship. Starr is frightened to tell Maverick that... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Starr overhears her parents arguing with Carlos, who is Lisa’s brother and a detective, about Khalil’s shooting. Carlos reveals that he is on the same... (full context)
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Community and Loyalty Theme Icon
The Cycle of Poverty and Crime Theme Icon
...being there for part of his children’s lives: Carlos took care of Starr, Seven, and Lisa while Maverick was in prison for three years, and is a surrogate father to Starr.... (full context)
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Dueling Identities and Double Consciousness  Theme Icon
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The Cycle of Poverty and Crime Theme Icon
...morning Starr and her parents visit Mrs. Rosalie, Khalil’s grandmother who also helped care for Lisa when she got pregnant with Starr. Starr is flooded with memories of Khalil upon entering... (full context)
The Cycle of Poverty and Crime Theme Icon
Tammy, Khalil’s well-to-do aunt, is at the house as well. She and Lisa were very close when Starr was little, and Khalil used to say he wished Tammy... (full context)
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...family and notes that regardless of what he did, he mattered to them. Maverick and Lisa then give Mrs. Rosalie money to pay for Khalil’s funeral. (full context)
Chapter 5
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...enough for Harvard but Howard bound.” Seven drives Starr and Sekani to the clinic where Lisa works. On the way, a police car pulls beside them at a stoplight. Tension fills... (full context)
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The children arrive at the clinic and greet Lisa. Soon an anguished Brenda arrives, looking completely disheveled with dirty clothes and uncombed hair. She... (full context)
Chapter 6
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Lisa reminds an extremely anxious Starr to breathe as they arrive at the police station for... (full context)
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...no longer hold her tongue, and quips that Khalil “didn’t pull the trigger on himself.” Lisa asks why it seems like they are putting Starr and Khalil on trial instead of... (full context)
Chapter 8
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The Power of Language Theme Icon
...Maverick says he wants Seven and Sekani to be a part of the march, but Lisa insists on taking Starr home. April Ofrah approaches the Carters and offers to help Starr... (full context)
Chapter 9
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The Cycle of Poverty and Crime Theme Icon
...Starr compares her neighborhood to a “war zone.” Upon hearing the sound of machine gunfire Lisa instructs the children to move to the den, where there are no windows. (full context)
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The Cycle of Poverty and Crime Theme Icon
...the basketball court, furious that Starr and Seven left the house without telling him or Lisa. He rants as he drives them home, pointing out the danger of going to play... (full context)
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...day, Starr watches Maverick examine his roses, which are looking dry despite his frequent watering. Lisa drives Starr to Carlos’s house. On the way, they see protestors marching for Khalil, and... (full context)
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...peaceful and safe everything is there, with joggers and kids playing in the streets. Nana, Lisa’s mother, greets them and immediately begins to complain about how Carlos’s wife Pam has started... (full context)
Chapter 10
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Lisa and Starr spend the night at Carlos’s to avoid the riots, but protests continue to... (full context)
Chapter 12
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...the Carter home. Maverick tends to his roses, which he fears are dying. He and Lisa have made up, and Maverick watches his wife as she works on the computer. Starr... (full context)
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Starr hears Lisa speaking in her “other” voice on the phone. She is speaking to the District Attorney... (full context)
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Lisa take Starr to the Just Us for Justice office, which occupies an old Taco Bell.... (full context)
Chapter 13
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...He says five King Lords attacked him, and is proud of putting up a fight. Lisa and Maverick note that he is lucky to be alive; with King Lords, snitches do... (full context)
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Lisa drags Maverick out to the patio, but Starr can still hear everything they say as... (full context)
Chapter 14
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...that none of the good parts of her neighborhood are highlighted, such as Mr. Reuben, Lisa’s clinic, Mr. Lewis, and her family. (full context)
Chapter 15
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The following morning Lisa takes Starr to IHOP, but Starr barely touches her food. Lisa expresses her anger about... (full context)
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...to open up about the tension with Hailey, though she leaves out the specific details. Lisa says she never liked the way Starr always let Hailey have her way when they... (full context)
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...and Maverick pick up food from Reuben’s for dinner on the way home. At dinner Lisa casually mentions that she has a second interview for a job at the same hospital... (full context)
Chapter 16
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...as they drive away Starr is heartened to hear her neighbors shout words of encouragement. Lisa has made everyone dress up as if they are going to church, and instructs them... (full context)
Chapter 18
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Maverick and Lisa take Starr and her brothers on a “trip.” At first they think they are going... (full context)
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Lisa says they hope to get settled before Seven goes off to college, so that he... (full context)
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...a brick shattering the living room window. Maverick screams for everyone to get down, and Lisa throws her body on top of her children. Maverick grabs his own gun and shoots... (full context)
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Lisa calls Carlos, who rushes over and insists they call the police. Maverick refuses, fearing crooked... (full context)
Chapter 19
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The next morning Starr wakes up to the smell of bacon. Lisa and Pam have cooked breakfast for the King Lords, who gobble everything up quickly. Lisa... (full context)
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...Starr flashes back to many years earlier, when Carlos drove her, Seven, and a sobbing Lisa to the courthouse to say goodbye to Maverick before he was taken to prison. He... (full context)
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...the Carters through, but Starr must go into the courtroom alone. Before she does so, Lisa tells Starr how proud she is of her and that she is brave. Starr bristles... (full context)
Chapter 20
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...suspended. They are not expelled, because the headmaster takes pity on Starr “given the circumstances.” Lisa scolds Seven and Starr, saying they behaved in the way the world expected them to. ... (full context)
Chapter 21
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...and scolds Kenya for keeping her brother’s party a secret. Starr is grateful again that Lisa, and not Iesha, is her mother. (full context)
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...is so ashamed of her that he has never even told his Williamson friends that Lisa is not his real mother. He confronts her about never showing up to things, putting... (full context)
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Back in the house, Seven is sobbing uncontrollably. Lisa comforts him, and Maverick instructs Kenya and Starr to go back outside. Starr realizes how... (full context)
Chapter 24
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Ms. Ofrah steps down and approaches Starr, who begs her not to tell Lisa she was at the riots. Starr says she had only been talking and joined because... (full context)
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Starr checks her phone, and has a lot of worried and angry voicemails from Lisa, who says she saw her  throwing tear gas on TV. Just as Starr and her... (full context)
Chapter 25
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Maverick and Lisa ask where they’ve all been all night. Maverick is impressed when he hears that Starr... (full context)
Chapter 26
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...that they never will be, because Hailey may never see how wrong she was. Remembering Lisa’s advice to weigh the good and the bad of a relationship, she decides to cut... (full context)
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...her hand is on the front page, along with the title “The Witness Fights Back.” Lisa says the news shows have all been discussing Starr and calling her brave. Of course,... (full context)
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...fix it, but Maverick asserts they don’t have to live there to make a difference. Lisa says she will do extra shifts at the clinic. Later the family goes to see... (full context)