Jamal Joseph – the acclaimed author, activist and film maker – has spearheaded an evening in honor of the late Afeni Shakur, which will take place this weekend in Brooklyn, New York. The New York memorial service for Afeni is Saturday, June 18 at House of the Lord Church from 4 to 7 p.m. House of the Lord Church is located at 415 Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn.

AllHipHop.com’s Chuck Creekmur spoke with Joseph about the mother of Hip Hop icon Tupac Shakur in an exclusive interview.


“Afeni, herself was a poet. So when we heard Tupac’s poetry, for those of us who knew Afeni, it made sense that this young man who had grown up around the Black Panther Party with a mom who was an artist, would become a talented artist himself,” states Joseph. “It was her poetic nuances that gave her the ability to craft her moving piece, A Letter to My Unborn Child, while on trial in the Panther 21 case.”

Pam Hannah, another former member of the Black Panther Party, talked about how deeply Afeni’s activism ran in the party as well as the greater community.

“Afeni was the reason I joined the Black Panther Party. She helped form how I gave service to the people, the community and the party,” revealed Hannah. “It was an interaction I had with her after a young brother was shot that forever changed how I saw my participation. Because of her words, from that moment on it became my business when something happened in the community.”

Hannah continued, “To this day it still informs how I act. While Tupac was on trial, she would go support him all day and come back and still have so much energy to care about how we each were doing. I really appreciated her ability to give of herself even when under direst. That is the type of person Afeni was.”

Confirmed speakers for the memorial include:

Reverend Herbert Daughtry
Kathleen Cleaver
Sonia Sanchez
IMPACT Repertory Theatre
Panther 21 (Jamal Joseph, Dhoruba Bin Wahad, Sekou Odinga)
Arthur Toombs
Keith “The Captain” Gamble
Charles Barron
Paul Coates


  • Black By Popular Demand! "The Day Harlem Saved Dr. King!'

    Shades of Truth Theatre and Voza Rivers/ New Heritage Theatre

    in association with The Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Community Center present

    The Day Harlem Saved Dr. King written and directed by Michael Green

  • Empowering a New Generation

    Republished from Captrust, Tuesday, January 29, 2019

    by Sylvana Smith

    From Black Panther and convict to writer, poet, producer, college professor, Academy Award nominee, and youth advocate, Jamal Joseph’s life has taken a circuitous path to the present. His is a story of perennial social activism, advancing lessons from his Black Panther days to empower a new generation.

    Excuse Me, Young Brother, I Just Did

  • NYS Senate and Assemby Honors New Heritage Theatre Group 55th Anniversary
    In celebration of Black Theatre and New Heritage's 55th Anniversary the New York State Assembly recently honored and recognized Voza Rivers and Jamal Joseph on the floor of the Assembly. Oscar nominated IMPACT members performed . 
    Robert Rodriguez, 68th Assembly District, Inez E. District 70th Assembly District, Al Taylor 71st Assembly District, issued the following signed statement:
    albany senate assemby honors New Heritage Theatre Group"We have an organization worthy of the esteem of both the community  and the Great State of New York." 
     Later that day Assembly Member Inez Dickens stated:

    "Special thanks to Voza Rivers and Jamal Joseph on 55 years of excellence and prosperity in the Harlem community through arts & culture for Harlem's youth! I especially want to thank IMPACT children for an amazing performance here in Albany.We wish them all the best!"


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