From Black Panther to convict to Oscar nominee

February 29th, 2012

How's this for a resume: 

  • Joined Black Panther Party at age fifteen
  • Served eleven months in the infamous NY Rikers Island Jail
  • FBI fugitive
  • Member of Panther 21, one of the most emblematic criminal cases of the sixties
  • At sixteen, one of the youngest spokesman and leaders of the Panther's New York Chapter.  
  • Member of the Revolutionary Black Underground
  • Sentenced to twelve years in Leavenworth
  • Earned two college degrees while in Leavenworth and founded a prison theater
  • Released from Leavenworth
  • Becomes full professor and Chair of Columbia University's School of the Arts Film Program 
  • Nominated for 2008 Academy Award in Best Song category
  • Publishes memoir Panther Baby
My conversation with Jamal Joseph: