Joseph Figueroa was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He is of Puerto Rican descent and he grew up in Brownsville, where he attended Thomas Jefferson High School for two years before dropping out. He became involved in gang activity and was incarcerated for seven years for various arrests. While imprisoned, he earned his high school diploma. After Figueroa was released, he worked for gang intervention organizations and lived in Crown Heights.
"I like to lead by example. Sometimes I don't like to lecture people. Even though I want to, but a lot of times I just lead by example, like you do what you do, I do what I do, just live life."
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Date: June 12, 2012
Citation: Oral history interview with Joseph Figueroa, 2012, 2011.019.037; Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations Oral History Collection, 2011.019; Brooklyn Historical Society.
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