Book Review: The Power of Black Men: “My Seven Black Fathers”.

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( The importance of Black men in the lives of little black boys is a necessity that cannot be denied. Though there are many studies on the subject, we need to hear of its importance from within community. The conversation of what happens when Black men are missing from the lives of our boys is so loud. Its often made when we discuss low graduation rates and our young boys/men in the justice system. In the book “My Seven Black Fathers” by Will Jawando get to have the conversation from the position of the empowerment and success a Black man has the opportunity to have when Black men show up for him.

“I was a young kid, struggling with the loss of my Nigerian heritage and my name, with my parents’ divorce and my father’s departure, and in its place, I found the belonging and acceptant that Kalfani’s friendship and basketball granted me.”

Book Review: The Power of Black Men: “My Seven Black Fathers”.
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Will Jawando could have written a stat book to discuss the importance of positive Black men in the lived of Black boys as they grow and develop. Instead of writing a book that simply states facts we’ve heard repeatedly, the author took the time to allow us to see how the power of Black male mentorship showed up in his life. He walks us through seven father figures [including his biological father], and with elegance, compassion and honestly, he shows us their hands on his life as they mold him into the man he would become. This is a journey that will make you smile, cry, and acknowledge that we need…our sons need their fathers and the Black men of the community.

“Despite our living conditions, I remember this time as mostly happy. I say mostly because I still missed my father, and in the magical thinking mode that comes easily to anyone grieving, I believed we could be a family again. Dad’s absence threw the pall of “If only” over my young life.”

The reader will find this book very easy to follow. It is a strong yet compassionate read. Each chapter is focused on a father, and each chapter is different. It rings home the idea not only do our sons need Black men, but they need various Black men that can offer them different perspectives, and wisdom that will speak to their needs at different junctures in their life. What is needed at eight is different at sixteen, and what will be needed in adulthood is another conversation entirely though all of it is building locks over times. The author is masterful in giving the reader several narratives beautifully weaved into one powerful success story.

“The benefit of having more than one parent, and if you’re me – seven fathers – is that so much of how I see and experience the world is an expression of how my fathers’ influences have played off one another. There’s no doubting the African Proverb “It takes a village to raise a child.””

This is a book that needs to be read in book clubs, church meetings, by young boys, men that are struggling with the Black men in their life, and by mothers. Yes, mothers need to read this book as it gives insight into what our son’s need that we ourselves can not provide. It is important that we play a role in helping our sons get the Black male village they need. This book does not run from delivering the message of accountability and responsibility, and it doesn’t run from putting systemic racism at the forefront of issues that are faced by the Black community, specifically in this case Black men. Please read and share this book with as many Black boys as you can. They may find some of the guidance they need in Will Jawado’s story.

My Seven Black Fathers” by Will Jawando can be found at your local bookstore, Amazon, and anywhere books are sold.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

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