Zach has many qualities and circumstances in common with Lily because of disadvantages: he is black in a white world, while she comes from a home where she is unloved. However, Zach is a fast learner and a hard worker, and he has built a life for himself helping August with beekeeping. He is handsome, athletic, and smart, and he has a goal to become a lawyer. But he has a burden in that he is black at a time when few black men can attend law school. Zach wants to do well because of his brains, not because of his athletic prowess. A white lawyer, Clayton Forrest, is his mentor, giving him advice and talking about legal cases. When Zach is jailed unjustly, he comes out a different man — a bit harder, but also more determined than ever. He encourages Lily, giving her a journal for her writing, and falls in love with her. But he knows the danger of their relationship, so he keeps his distance, especially around others. Zach teaches Lily that if she can imagine something she can make it come true; he promises her they will eventually be together. He is another positive and strong model for Lily when it comes to reaching for her dreams and dealing with the circumstances of the 1960s South. And Zach reminds Lily that she is not unlovable.