BOOK CORNER: ‘My Seven Black Fathers’ shows redemptive power of mentorship

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By Marissa Wells

Contributing Writer

“My Seven Black Fathers,” by Will Jawando, is a compelling memoir and story of hope and respect for Black men.

“It tells the story of my life through the lens of these black men who fathered me and literally saved my life when things could have gone a totally different way,” Jawando said.

This is the author’s first book and it was inspired by his desire to share his own self-discoveries and to highlight the redemptive power of mentorship.

“My experience growing up in Silver Springs, seeing deep inequity and knowing I was blessed with an extraordinary set of mentors (my Black fathers) that helped me become who I am and eventually reconcile with my biological father,” Jawando said.

Each chapter focuses on one of the seven father figures in the author’s life and the impact they had on him. Some of the obstacles Jawando endured that are addressed in the book are bullying, abuse, neglect, racism, poverty, self-discovery, childhood obesity, forgiveness, reconciliation and more.

“The premise of the book is that these fathering and mentoring relationships are so powerful that they can literally save the lives of Black men, boys, and girls…,” said the author.

“My Seven Black Fathers” is intended for Black men and those who care for Black children especially and can also be enjoyed by those seeking a story about the power of mentorship.

It’s the author’s hope that his book proves to be inspiring for readers.

“I hope they gain an expansion of the concept of ‘fatherhood’ and a deeper understanding of the transformative power mentors, especially Black male mentors, can have in the lives of men and boys of color,” Jawando said. “Also, I hope readers reflect on those who’ve had this impact in their own life and a commitment to being that for others.”

In addition to being an author, Jawando is a civil rights lawyer and elected official in Montgomery County, Maryland. For more information about the author and his work, visit

“My Seven Black Fathers: A Young Activist’s Memoir of Race, Family, and the Mentors Who Made Him Whole” is available for $28 via


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