Education

Former Black Panther Speaks at Westfield School Assembly for Black History Month

The Roosevelt Sharps and Flats perform with the Newark Boys Chorus during Friday's Black History Month assembly. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
321dcea1d89623d0c151_358cd0f671808c79e104_DSC_1855.JPG
Jamal Joseph, teacher Pam Friedman and Principal Stewart Carey Credits: Jackie Lieberman
776e9a4719a9c8029b2b_c6c5220611f8c0ef417d_DSC_1861.JPG
Roosevelt's Sharps and Flats performed with the Newark Boys Chorus. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
321dcea1d89623d0c151_358cd0f671808c79e104_DSC_1855.JPG

WESTFIELD, NJ — Jamal Joseph — celebrated writer, director, producer, poet, activist, educator and a former member of the Black Panther Party who spent time in prison — spoke to students at Roosevelt Intermediate School’s 9th annual Black History Month assembly Friday.  

Joseph spoke about his anger over the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. as what drove him, at the age of 15, to become the youngest Black Panther in history. With his friends, he said, he went to the party headquarters hoping they would hand him a gun. Instead, they armed him with a stack of books.

His message to Roosevelt students was not one of anger, but one of love, hope and cooperation. One of the great misconceptions about the Black Panther Party was that it was about hatred, he said.

Sign Up for E-News

When Beyonce put her dancers in black berets reminiscent of the Panthers for their Super Bowl show, she started a controversy “so that people can understand that the image of the Panthers just with guns or being angry or thinking that they hated white people” was not the whole story, Joseph explained. He told the crowd that the Black Panthers had a breakfast program, health clinics and a message of cooperation to bring “power to all the people.”

During this Black History month, he told the assembly, “Be dedicated to the fact that we love each other and we will rise.”

The school gave Joseph a standing ovation.

Principal Stewart Carey thanked teacher Pam Friedman for organizing the assembly, which also included performances by annual guests the Newark Boys Chorus. 

“This is always a great day for the school,” Carey said “I never knew that we could get the type of speakers we’ve had here.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly Seeks Input on State Budget

April 17, 2018

Dear Editor:

As one of only 12 members on the New Jersey General Assembly’s Budget Committee, I am in the unique position to question New Jersey’s commissioners, those charged with leading our state's various departments, on the specifics of the FY 19 budget that Governor Murphy has proposed. As you may know, this budget must be passed by June 30, 2018.

From education to ...

Assembly's Longest Serving Member Dead at 79

April 19, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- Paterson's Assembly members, Shavonda Sumter and Benjie Wimberly, are mourning the loss of their colleague, Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-Plainfield) who died on Thursday.

Green, 79, was the longest serving member of the Assembly, and considered to be a champion of affordable housing. Green stepped down as Chairman of the Union County Democratic Organization on January 24 to ...

Paterson Mayor Candidate Andre Sayegh Names Vaughn L. McKoy, a Paterson Native, as Campaign Counsel

April 20, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- Andre Sayegh, the sixth ward councilman who is seeking to be Paterson’s next mayor in the city’s elections next month, has named Paterson native Vaughn L. McKoy, JD, MBA as his campaign counsel.

McKoy, a former state and federal prosecutor as well as a lawyer in private practice, will volunteer and serve as a key adviser to the campaign. Sayegh said he felt extremely ...