Will Jawando is an attorney, activist, community leader, and councilmember in Montgomery County, Maryland, a diverse community of more than one million residents. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Root, and on BET.com, and has been featured in The New York Times, New York Magazine, and on NPR, NBC News, and MTV. In My Seven Black Fathers: A Young Activist’s Memoir of Race, Family, and the Mentors Who Made Him Whole (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Jawando tells an affirmative story of hope and respect for men of color as he looks back on the relationships with the mentors that enabled him to thrive. A Black kid with a divorced white mother and a frayed relationship with his biological father, Jawando found in Mr. Williams, the rare Black male grade school teacher, someone who bolstered his self-esteem when he was being bullied. There is also Jay Fletcher, an openly gay colleague of his mother who got him off junk food and took him to his first play, and President Barack Obama, who made him his associate director of public engagement at the White House. Jawando writes that without the influence of these men, he would not be who he is today.