The Hate U Give

Maverick Carter Character Analysis

Starr’s father, Lisa’s husband, and a former felon, Maverick was essentially born into a life of crime. His father was one of the biggest drug dealers in Garden Heights, but Maverick decided to leave gang life behind after having children. He went to prison for three years for King in exchange for getting out the King Lords, and later helps DeVante when he, too, wants to leave the gang. Frequently referred to as “Big Mav,” Maverick owns a small grocery store in Garden Heights and is seen as a pillar of the community. His son Seven is the result of a one-night affair Maverick had with Iesha after a fight with Lisa, and Iesha remains an “Achilles heel” of his and Lisa’s relationship. Maverick also frequently clashes with Carlos, Lisa’s brother, partly out of insecurity; Carlos cared for the children while Maverick was in prison. Maverick is deeply committed to improving the lives of his community, and instills his children with teachings from the Black Panthers, including encouragement to fight against police brutality. Because of this, he refuses to let the family move away from Garden Heights. Only after having seen the toll violence has taken on his family does he agree to move at the end of the novel, asserting he can still help Garden Heights without living there.

Maverick Carter Quotes in The Hate U Give

The The Hate U Give quotes below are all either spoken by Maverick Carter or refer to Maverick 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 1 Quotes

Garden Heights has been a battlefield for the past two months over some stupid territory wars. I was born a “queen” ‘cause Daddy used to be a King Lord. But when he left the game, my street royalty status ended. But even if I’d grown up in it, I wouldn't understand fighting over streets nobody owns.

Related Characters: Starr Carter (speaker), Maverick Carter
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 2  Quotes

The other talk was about what to do if a cop stopped me. … “Starr-Starr, you do whatever they tell you to do," he said. "Keep your hands visible. Don't make any sudden moves. Only speak when they speak to you."

I knew it must've been serious. Daddy has the biggest mouth of anybody I know, and if he said to be quiet, I needed to be quiet.

Related Characters: Starr Carter (speaker), Maverick Carter (speaker)
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 10 Quotes

“Drugs come from somewhere, and they're destroying our community," he says. “You got folks like Brenda, who think they need them to survive, and then you got the Khalils who think they need to sell them to survive. The Brendas can't get jobs unless they're clean, and they can't pay for rehab unless they got jobs. When the Khalils get arrested for selling drugs, they either spend most of their life in prison, another billion-dollar industry, or they have a hard time getting a real job and probably start selling drugs again. That’s the hate they’re giving us, baby, a system designed against us. That’s ‘Thug Life.’”

Related Characters: Maverick Carter (speaker), Starr Carter , Khalil Harris, Brenda Harris
Page Number: 170
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 12 Quotes

“That's the so-called gun,” Ms. Ofrah explains. “Officer Cruise claims he saw it in the car door, and he assumed Khalil was reaching for it. The handle was thick enough, black enough, for him to assume it was a gun.”

“And Khalil was black enough,” Daddy adds.

A hairbrush. Khalil died over a fucking hairbrush.

Related Characters: Starr Carter (speaker), Maverick Carter (speaker), April Ofrah (speaker), Khalil Harris, One-Fifteen / Officer Brian Cruise
Related Symbols: Khalil’s Hairbrush
Page Number: 217
Explanation and Analysis:
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Maverick Carter Character Timeline in The Hate U Give

The timeline below shows where the character Maverick Carter appears in The Hate U Give. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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...has been in the grip of “stupid territory wars” for some time. Her own father, Maverick, was a King Lord at one point but “left the game.” (full context)
Chapter 2 
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...behave in front of police officers. Lisa, her mother, thought she was too young, but Maverick, her father, said she was old enough to be arrested or shot. He emphasized doing... (full context)
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Starr remembers Maverick’s instructions to get a good look at the cop’s face, and notes that the officer... (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... (full context)
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...on its walls. She calls her family “Christlims”—a mixture of Christian and Muslim — with Maverick following the Black Panther’s Ten-Point Program more closely than the Bible. At breakfast, Seven discusses... (full context)
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...she and Khalil didn’t do anything wrong, and that Khalil did not have a gun. Maverick notes that this will cause people in the neighborhood to “lose their minds.” Starr worries... (full context)
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...notes is sweet to anyone unless they try to break into the house. She watches Maverick tend to his rose garden, which he spends hours in every night. Then Maverick and... (full context)
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...and Lisa know about Chris and have accepted the relationship. Starr is frightened to tell Maverick that she is dating a white person. (full context)
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...regulars’ names and orders. On the way back, they are stopped by Kenya’s father, King. Maverick, who used to be in the same gang as King, bristles when King addresses him... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Starr thinks the real reason her father and uncle fight is because of Maverick’s insecurity and guilt about not being there for part of his children’s lives: Carlos took... (full context)
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...Rosalie confirms that Khalil was selling drugs, but also says he wanted to talk to Maverick about how to get out of the game. Starr worries that the public will only... (full context)
Chapter 8
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...heel” of their marriage; Seven is the result of a “for-hire” session between her and Maverick. (full context)
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...for Khalil”, “Am I Next?”, and “Enough Is Enough.” News vans have arrived as well. Maverick says he wants Seven and Sekani to be a part of the march, but Lisa... (full context)
Chapter 9
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That evening, protests erupt in Khalil’s name throughout Garden Heights. Maverick spends the night at his store to protect it from rioters and instructs his family... (full context)
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Maverick pulls up to the basketball court, furious that Starr and Seven left the house without... (full context)
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Later that day, Starr watches Maverick examine his roses, which are looking dry despite his frequent watering. Lisa drives Starr to... (full context)
Chapter 10
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Back at their house, Maverick asks Starr to hang out with him that day, promising her ice cream and the... (full context)
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Starr gets into the car with Maverick, who plays Tupac as he drives. Starr lightheartedly mocks him for showing his age, but... (full context)
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Maverick continues to push Starr to explain how drugs, racism, and a lack of opportunity trap... (full context)
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When Maverick and Starr arrive back at the store they find DeVante.  It becomes clear that he... (full context)
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Maverick says that his father was the “biggest drug dealer” Garden Heights had ever seen, effectively... (full context)
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Maverick agrees to help DeVante get free of King, and says he can start by working... (full context)
Chapter 11
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After school, Starr sees Mr. Lewis standing outside Maverick’s store and preparing to give an on-camera interview. Maverick says it is in response to... (full context)
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Maverick calls Mr. Lewis crazy after the interview for snitching on television, insisting he is “a... (full context)
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A police car with two officers shows up and they approach Maverick and Mr. Lewis. An officer named Larry, who is black, accuses Maverick of harassing Mr.... (full context)
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After the incident, a shaken Maverick and the others go inside the store. Maverick slams his fists on the counter in... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Tanks rumble through Garden Heights. A curfew has been implemented, and Maverick is home with the family. Everyone feels safer with him around, and the mood is... (full context)
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...the phone. She is speaking to the District Attorney about Starr coming in to talk. Maverick does not like the idea, but Starr thinks it will help Khalil, and agrees to... (full context)
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...take Starr to the Just Us for Justice office, which occupies an old Taco Bell. Maverick used to take Seven and Starr there right after he got out of prison and... (full context)
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...taken aback by how easily Ms. Ofrah uses the word “murder” to describe Khalil’s death. Maverick arrives late, explaining that he had to get DeVante situated at the shop to watch... (full context)
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...mentioning was nothing more than Khalil’s hairbrush. In the darkness, the handle looked thick enough—and, Maverick adds, Khalil was black enough—that One-Fifteen allegedly mistook it for a weapon. Starr is horrified... (full context)
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Maverick then gets a phone call from a frantic DeVante about something the others don’t hear,... (full context)
Chapter 13
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...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 not simply... (full context)
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Maverick furiously grabs DeVante by the neck, slams him against a freezer, and asks what is... (full context)
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...he would put them all in danger.  Realizing how unsafe he is in Garden Heights, Maverick, though angry, softens, and brings DeVante to Carlos’s house—a move that surprises Starr, since Maverick... (full context)
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...driveway and wanted to see if everything was okay. As the others greet Chris warmly, Maverick realizes he is not a new presence in Starr’s life. Maverick grows furious to learn... (full context)
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Lisa drags Maverick out to the patio, but Starr can still hear everything they say as they argue... (full context)
Chapter 15
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...and you have to decide if your love for them outweighs that. Lisa stayed with Maverick after he cheated on her with Iesha because she decided that the good in their... (full context)
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Maverick and Starr head back to the store together. There, Maverick asks Starr what she sees... (full context)
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King pulls up to the store in his gray BMW and asks for DeVante’s whereabouts. Maverick denies knowing where he is. King then says he knows Starr is the witness the... (full context)
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Starr and Maverick pick up food from Reuben’s for dinner on the way home. At dinner Lisa casually... (full context)
Chapter 17
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...She tells Chris about living in a smoky, rat- and roach-infested apartment in the projects. Maverick, who struggled to get a job as an ex-con, had to use food stamps to... (full context)
Chapter 18
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Maverick and Lisa take Starr and her brothers on a “trip.” At first they think they... (full context)
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...Community, a junior college in Garden Heights, to stay close to his mother and sisters. Maverick and Lisa think he can’t be serious; Central Community is “Garden Heights High 2.0” and... (full context)
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...happy atmosphere is abruptly destroyed by gunshots and a brick shattering the living room window. Maverick screams for everyone to get down, and Lisa throws her body on top of her... (full context)
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Lisa calls Carlos, who rushes over and insists they call the police. Maverick refuses, fearing crooked cops could be behind the attack; he believes it is no coincidence... (full context)
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Starr shouts that she refuses to testify anymore. In response, Maverick makes her, Sekani, and Seven recite lines from the Black Panthers’ Ten-Point Program that call... (full context)
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...Grove” King Lords, signifying that they are part of a different “set” than King is. Maverick says they will be providing security for the evening. (full context)
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...the house, saying King Lords may have been behind the attack in the first place. Maverick accuses him of not wanting to protect Starr because he is scared about how working... (full context)
Chapter 19
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...plate to her father and uncle outside, and finds them sitting on the back of Maverick’s truck. Carlos motions for Starr to sit in between them, and much to her surprise,... (full context)
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...Carlos drove her, Seven, and a sobbing Lisa to the courthouse to say goodbye to Maverick before he was taken to prison. He came outside in his orange jumpsuit, but could... (full context)
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...at this word, but Lisa asserts that being brave doesn’t mean she is not scared. Maverick hugs Starr in support. Though Starr has to go into the room alone, she feels... (full context)
Chapter 20
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...of Khalil. The first, said to be the image the news has shared, is what Maverick calls Khalil’s “thugshot,” in which he holds a bunch of money to the camera. The... (full context)
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...Remy gets involved, Seven jumps in. Starr notes that they both know how to fight, Maverick having often taken them to the boxing gym after school. (full context)
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Later the Carters’ house is filled with both King Lords and Garden Disciples. Maverick says that regardless of the indictment verdict, they can’t let riots get out of hand... (full context)
Chapter 21
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...a joint birthday/graduation party for Seven, who has just turned eighteen and finished high school. Maverick cried when he saw his son get a diploma. The atmosphere is joyous, as the... (full context)
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...love him back. Iesha is hurt, angry, and embarrassed, and turns to leave. She asks Maverick if he’s happy for turning her son against her, and says she can’t wait for... (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 awkward it is to... (full context)
Chapter 23
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...building bursts into flames. As flames pour out of other businesses’ windows, Starr thinks of Maverick’s store and all the memories it holds for her family. The crowd cheers for the... (full context)
Chapter 24
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...have been ransacked, except those with “black owned” spray-painted across the front. They arrive at Maverick’s store, and Starr gives Goon the keys.  Goons directs everyone inside and starts grabbing jugs... (full context)
Chapter 25
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...opens the front door, but the path to it is blocked by flames. Moments later Maverick shows up and rushes to unlock the back door. Everyone tumbles out of the store.... (full context)
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Maverick screams at King for starting the fire, but King keeps laughing and hides behind his... (full context)
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Maverick and Lisa ask where they’ve all been all night. Maverick is impressed when he hears... (full context)
Chapter 26
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...noting that she has yet to get used to the layout of their new house. Maverick is at the kitchen counter, clipping the rosebush he brought all the way from Garden... (full context)
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Maverick calls Starr “lil Black Panther” and points to the newspaper: a photo of Starr with... (full context)
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...people will think about them leaving Garden Heights instead of staying to fix it, but Maverick asserts they don’t have to live there to make a difference. Lisa says she will... (full context)
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...“blackened frames.” They arrive at the store, which is completely destroyed. Mr. Lewis says that Maverick needs to stick around, because without a good store, more folks will leave Garden Heights.... (full context)