by George Haigler
On Tuesday, February 28, the Harlem Times interviewed Mr. Joe Young, the President of Joe Young Entertainment and the Creator of Kemet, The Time Traveler. Kemet is a Cartoon which features a Black Character who is a “Hero” who travels back and forth in time and intervenes in the lives of persons throughout history in the Black Diaspora, many of whom had experienced the unfortunate
perils of slavery, Jim Crow Segregation and any number of horrible disparities in the early days of
America. Kemet is a ten-year old African American Boy who engages time travel in his spaceship, the
“Sankofa 82”. As a producer, filmmaker and writer, black history archivist, cartoonist, par excellent
story teller, and single parent himself, he is a multiple awards recipient and has been honored by the
White House, among many other organizations and entities. During his book signing at the Apollo
Theater, he had the crowd spellbound and riveted with his presentation of Kemet the Time Traveler and with his own personal journey, recounting his journey from humble beginnings to becoming an inspiration for thousands of children across America.
Harlem Times: From your earliest recollections, who was your chief inspiration and other inspirations for writing in this genre of
Joe Young: Thank you, George, for this opportunity to interview with this great publication, the Harlem
Times! My Mother was my earliest inspiration, because she never stopped striving and working and she
encouraged me, through her own words of wisdom to me, personally: “Don’t EVER give up”! Then, there
was a 5 th Grade Teacher who tried to steer me to pursue a career in agriculture versus writing, etc. (This
brings to mind the Autobiography of Malcolm X, as told to Alex Haley, when Malcolm X was challenged
in Junior High School to forgo his aspirations and dreams to become a Lawyer, and to instead, pursue
carpentry, because the teacher would patronize him and enlist him to do his household needs). He was
ultimately inspired by early cartoonists who appeared in national publications, including Walter Card
and Brandon Brunson, just to name a few. Then, George Floyd happened and that changed everything
and I knew that I had to do something! Comics are a way of engaging the community and society. This
was my Trojan Horse, the Kemet The Traveler Character and Series, to motivate and inspire the society,
that we can do better and that we can strive for excellence and do our individual parts to make the
world a better place than it is and to reach our fullest potentials as people.
GH, III/Harlem Times: That is quite a genesis and launchpad of the body of work you are creating. Please
Joe Young: Kemet the Time Traveler is the inspiration of telling our story as African Americans in
America with Five Comic Book Worksheets. We are in 232 Black Newspaper Publications and have a
readership of 22 Million Readers! We currently are in 25 School Districts and enjoin Youth Activities
Worksheets and are in Liberia, a Country on the Continent of Africa and in Canada. We are affiliated
with NABP (National Association of Black Publishers) and also the National Newspapers Association. We
are being sponsored by JP Morgan Chase and am in the unprecedented position to inspire our youth to
print a Comic Book to teach young inner-city students about Financial Literacy through the character
Kemet The BIG TIME Saver. This next generation of Black Earners will eventually be movers and shapers
of industries and the next generation to understand and create Black Prosperity.
George Haigler, III/Harlem Times: On the stage, you gave great homage to your Mother, your children
and siblings and family, Dr. Shirley, Dr. JoAnn Price and many others, some of whom were on hand on
this great night and book signing. I have another question for you in these closing moments: If the likes
of Benjamin Banneker, Frederick Douglas, Dr. Mary McLeod-Bethune, Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, Rev. Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Alex Haley, Shirley Chisholm, Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X, and the Heroes Hall Of
Fame, which compromises just some of our great historical figures and proponents of our freedom and
uplift were to acknowledge your feats of accomplishment and exuberance for being a positive force for
humanity, what, in your opinion would they say to Mr. Joe Young, the Creator of Kemet The World
Traveler, who will also soon be in film production and television series fame:
Joe Young: I believe that they would say: “Keep doing the work which we all started and pass the torch
to someone else who will faithfully and courageously carry it on from you also”.
George Haigler, III/Harlem Times: If you received the Nobel Peace Prize for your writing and your life’s
work, and/or, the Pulitzer Prize, what would your acceptance speech be, the crux of it and what would you
say to young people today?
Joe Young: I would say, that aside of recognitions and accolades and honor, I have had the privilege and
great honor of helping young people and using my God-given gifts, talents and abilities to do so and
have been chosen by God to do this thing. To young people, I would say, be responsible with your life
and the gifts that God has given you to be faithful over. The gifts and talents which God has given you,
come with a responsibility to answer an important need or void in the world which only you can fulfill to
the best of your knowledge and ability.
George Haigler, III/Harlem Times: Thank you, Mr. Young. This has been an incredible honor and thank
you for sharing a small part of your great journey.
Joe Young: Thank you and all the best to you, your Publisher, Mr. Paul Jackson, and to the Harlem Times
for your great Publication and tremendous job you do!
ABOUT JOE YOUNG
Joe Young is an award-winning cartoonist, filmmaker, producer, writer, and teaching artist. Young is the
Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of The University of Bridgeport. In 2022 Young teamed up with music
icon Smokey Robinson to produce the animated BLACK AMERICAN film. The animation was featured on
ABC’s “The View” TV program. In 1999, he received the Daily Point of Light award from the White House
from Presidents Bill Clinton and the late President George H.W. Bush for volunteering to bring the arts to
inner-city youth. He has been recognized for his accomplishments, including being an Amazon National
Best-Selling Author, featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and in The NAACP 100 Most Influential Blacks
in CT. His work has appeared in People, Ebony, GQ and Jet Magazine, the Boston Globe, New York
Times, C-Span, ABC’s The View, CNN, the Black Family Channel, and other national media outlets.
For more information on Joe Young and the KEMET comic property, email: