Joy Keys chats with Jamal Joseph about Panther Baby

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Eddie Joseph was an intelligent honors student well on his way to starting college early. But growing up in the Bronx’s black ghetto in the ‘60s meant that in lieu of finding early college acceptance, Eddie instead found a warm welcome as one of the youngest members of the Black Panther Party. Incarcerated on Rikers Island by 16-years-old and charged as one of the Panther 21, Eddie was at the heart of one of the most important criminal cases of his time. Once exonerated, he began calling himself Jamal and took up the mantle as one of the youngest leaders of the Panther’s New York Chapter.

In PANTHER BABY: A Life of Rebellion & Reinvention Jamal Joseph speaks out about his induction into Panther life and his transformation from street kid to influential member of an important national movement. He illuminates the rationale, practice, and emotional backdrop for soldiers of the Black Panther movement, and his story is also a comprehensive recollection of a time of rapid change in New York as well as national history; Joseph recalls the Vietnam protests, the Weathermen, police brutality, the War on Drugs, gang violence and more, even up until the murder of Joseph’s godson, Tupac Shakur.

 

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