Summary Of My Seven Black Fathers By Will Jawando

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Will Jawando’s memoir
Some people might try to argue that racism is a phenomenon of the past, when in reality a Black man’s fate is laid out the day he is born. Black culture is a vital part of a Black man’s identity. Some find their Black identity on the basketball court, while others are not as lucky and end up adopting the street life and violence as part of their identity. The importance, but also consequences of a Black Identity is precisely the topic in Will Jawando’s memoir titled “My Seven Black Fathers: A Young Activist’s Memoir of Race, Family, and the Mentors Who Made Him Whole” from 2022.

Will Jawando is biracial with a white mother and a Nigerian father, who was out of the picture early in Will’s life. This meant a loss of his …show more content…

Those who could not find their Black identity on the basketball court, resorted to the street, to violence, and to gangs. At Will’s first encounter with some of these people, he explains: “I tried not to meet anyone’s eyes because a glance can easily be mistaken for a stare, which pinpoints where 99 percent of beefing starts in the hood.” While this goes to show how basketball naturally kept Will away from violence, it also shows how violence is rooted in those who did not have a sport to rely on. Once again, the use of personal experience encourages the readers to stay away from violent environments. While it seems easy to steer away from violence just through sport, it occurs that other factors weigh in as well. Will writes: “For many Black boys, the transition from middle school to high school invites the lure of the hustle and street rituals that can beget violence. While I started playing high school basketball in a sheltered, racially integrated setting, Kalfani got to know the fundamentals of street life.” Even though Kalfani had a promising basketball career, it seems as if the violent part of a Black identity had the ability to sneak into his life anyways. The fact that Will managed to stay away from this environment, might not be completely coincidental. Earlier he explains how his mother was the one enrolled him in this particular high school, as she is the part of his life that does not cohere with his Black identity, it seems that he avoided the fate of a Black man, by not being one completely. This shows how in reality being biracial might have saved him from violence, and not entirely basketball in itself, though it definitely helped find his place at an early

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