Though ex-Black Panther Jamal Joseph is a full professor at Columbia University and an Oscar nominee, his journey to the Ivy-Leagues was a harrowing one. He joined the Black Panther‘s when he was 15-years-old and ended up in prison a year later, according to the BBC.
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He also served a 9-year stint in prison for helping fugitives escape the country. It was during this time that Joseph earned two college degrees. After his life behind bars, he devoted his life to youth empowerment and the arts. In February, he released his autobiography “Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention.”
The book is mainly for young people, Joseph says, and is about his personal journey of finding his place in the world. Joseph says the best lesson he learned as a panther was “to love the people and to serve the people.”