Project Fatherhood: A Story of Courage and Healing in One of America’s Toughest Communities by Jorja Leap

This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

This is not the kind of book that I could read every day. I had to take frequent breaks because the story is as disturbing as it is hopeful. Dr. Jorja Leap shows us the hearts and minds of Watts with grace. She focuses on Project Fatherhood and its members’ successes while considering their almost overwhelming obstacles. “Almost” only because they somehow manage to succeed, to change, to help each other by choosing to be there for their children, by fathering the youth in their community whose biological fathers are absent and by supporting each other.

Dr. Leap’s courage goes unspoken as she crosses racial and cultural lines in order to serve these people. When I saw the cover and looked inside to the back flap, I wondered “What is this white lady trying to say about Watts?”

Parts of this book read more like a novel than the contemporary history that it is. We come to care for the men and their families as we care for our own.

Bravo, Dr. Leap and congratulations to the Project Fatherhood community. ( )

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