For immediate release | November 17, 2011

Jamal Joseph to keynote 13th annual Arthur Curley Lecture

CHICAGO – Author and activist Jamal Joseph will deliver the Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture as part of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Dallas. Joseph will speak at 4 – 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Dallas Convention Center.

In the 1960s, Jamal Joseph exhorted students at Columbia University to burn their college to the ground. Today he is the Chair of their School of the Arts film division. His personal odyssey - from the streets of Harlem to Rikers Island and Leavenworth, to the halls of Columbia, is detailed in his upcoming book, “Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention.”

Charged with conspiracy as one of the youngest members of the Panther 21 in one of the most emblematic criminal cases of the 60s, Joseph was twice sent to prison. While incarcerated, he earned two college degrees, wrote five plays, two volumes of poetry and found his calling.

Joseph has written and directed for Black Starz, HBO, FoxTV, New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. and A&E; and was nominated for a 2008 Academy Award in the Best Song category for his contributions to the song "Raise It Up", performed by IMPACT Repertory Theatre and Jamia Nash in the 2007 film August Rush.

Joseph is also the founder and artistic director of IMPACT, a Harlem-based youth theatre company, and executive director of New Heritage Films, a not-for-profit organization that provides training and opportunities for minority filmmakers.

The Arthur Curley Lecture honors the late Arthur Curley, past president of the ALA (1994-95) and director of the Boston Public Library (1985-96). Mr. Curley, who died in 1998, was a champion of the arts and believed that the library played a key role in presenting the arts to the community.

The conversation starts here . . . Register now for Midwinter Meeting so you don’t miss key conversations about the transformation and future of libraries—or the events, exhibits, and sessions that will enrich your career and library. Midwinter Early Bird Registration is open through December 2. Register early to save!

For more information on the Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture or the ALA Midwinter Meeting, please visit For advance press registration or to schedule an interview, contact Macey Morales at 312-280-4393,, or Jennifer Petersen at 312-280-5043,


Macey Morales

Media Relations Manager

American Library Association