LEVEL Best Man 2020

LEVEL Celebrates Its Best Men of 2020

From neighbors to fathers to first responders, anyone can be the best of us

LEVEL Editors
Published in
10 min readDec 7, 2020


Photos: Getty Images (8)/Herron: Elias Williams for LEVEL

Update 6/7/22: Level has a new home. You can read this article and other new articles by visiting LEVELMAN.com.

Last December, LEVEL was born. All around us, magazines and websites were doing their year-end thing, and not just their year-end thing — their decade-end thing. Here we were, coming into the world like a mewling newborn, launching a brand new publication about the growth of Black men, just as everyone was saying goodbye to the decade that had given us everything from Black Panther to birtherism. How will we feel a year from now? we thought then. When we’re a year old, how will we look back on 2020?

Here’s the answer: shitshow.

There’s no reason to rehash yet again what we all already know: 2020 was unlike any year any of us have ever lived through. All the synonyms for “trash” and all the synonyms for “fire” can’t possibly be enough to express what it felt like in the eye of Covid and amplified racism. But there was good to be found as well. Specifically, good that let us know we were doing the right thing when we launched in December 2019.