Professor Jamal Joseph Executive Produces New Docuseries, 'Dear Mama'

Angeline Dimambro
February 01, 2023

Professor Jamal Joseph serves as an executive producer on Dear Mama, a new docuseries from FX.

The five-part docuseries will explore the lives and personal relationship between hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur and his mother, Afeni Shakur, the former Black Panthers member and revolutionary. Filmmaker Allen Hughes (The Book of Eli, Menace II Society) serves as director on the project in addition to executive producer. Joseph previously penned the script for Knights of the South Bronx (2005), which Hughes directed, but it wasn’t until their collaboration on Dear Mama that the two creatives met. Hughes and FX premiered the first episode of the series at the Toronto International Film Festival in fall 2022.

“The initial vision for [this project] came from Afeni,” Joseph said in an interview with iHeartRadio's Jamar McNeil. “It was Afeni’s vision for keeping the legacy of her son alive. She had talked for years about a book about Tupac—an exhibit, a documentary. Because she wanted to preserve his legacy…because she understood what that story of a young Black man would mean to young Black men, Black families, Black America, America, and the world.”

Dear Mama will premiere on April 21 at 10 pm ET on FX and will be available to stream on Hulu the next day.

Jamal Joseph is a two-time recipient of the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame Prized Pieces Award, a New Foundation of the Arts Fellowship, a recipient of the Paul Robeson Award from the Actors Equity Association, a Best Song Academy Award Nominee, and an alum of the Sundance Directing Lab. His film Chapter & Verse (theatrical and BET) won the Pan African Film Festival Audience Choice Award and was a New York Times Critic’s pick. Jamal’s writing and directing credits include Drive By and Da Zone for STARZ in BLACK, Hard Chorus and Hip Hop in the Promised Land for Comedy Central, and Hughes Dream Harlem for PBS. Additional screenplay credits include Knights of the South for A&E and Ali: An American Hero for FOX. Jamal is a producer and is featured in upcoming FX docuseries Dear Mama about the life and legacy of Tupac and Afeni Shakur. Jamal is featured in the PBS documentary Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution and the EPIX docuseries The Godfather of Harlem. He is the author of Tupac Legacy and his memoir Panther Baby which he is developing as a dramatic series for STARZ.