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June 3, 2024 21 mins
I speak with  Angela Wade about  what was lost when gun violence took her extraordinary son’s life. Joseph Emanuel Daniels III was recognized as a gifted mentor and coach who was first a volunteer at a basketball program at his son's school, which led to his hire as a coach and mentor.  He was killed Dec. 7, 2019.  Angela is featured in a documentary called “The Second Trauma” about how episodic reporting of gun violence can retraumatize survivors produced by the Philadephia Center for Gun Violence Reporting and the Logan Center for Urban Investigative Reporting. Angela Wade has already established a non-profit in her son's name.  JEDIII  will provide a haven for children to use conflict resolution effectively.
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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
A couple of months ago, Ihad a very wonderful experience of privilege of

moderating a panel that was after thePhiladelphia premiere of Second Trauma, documentary that
examines the impact of reporting on gunviolence and how it can sometimes create a
second trauma for those survivors and victimsof deadly shootings. Journalists show up at

probably the worst day of a person'slife, and sometimes they come and they
don't come back, and there's griefand hope and fear, but we rarely
talk about solutions. And that iswhy I'm so privileged to be joined by
Angie Wade, whose son, JosephDaniels the third, was killed, and
she was one of the individuals thatwas interviewed in this documentary and had a

lot to say about what we cando better as journalists, as members of
the media to report on violence.Thank you so much for coming and joining
us here today. Thank you forhaving me, La, and I'm glad
to be here. We're going totalk about the media in just a moment,
but I think what I want todo is talk about your son,
because once again, the media doesn'toften provide a full reporting of what a

human being we've lost a gun violencewhat that loss really means. And so
I'm going to talk to you aboutyour son and ask you some questions about
Joseph Daniels. The third, whatis your first memory of your son?
My first memory of Joe is hisheight, in his kindness, his kind

heart, and his compassion and hiscourage. He was a very tall,
bold, courageous man that was alwaysabout changed. He called himself Joe changing
the game Daniels because he said hewas determined to change the game in people's

lives. What did he do?What was his job? You know,
what did he mean to the community. He was a pleferer of things,
Lorraine. He was a coach forPhiladelphia youth basketball, which he loved.
That was a great, great sportfor him. That was his love basketball.

Growing up, he was, youknow, raised by me, a
single parent. He didn't have theopportunity to play basketball in the you know,
various areas. We were brought uparound Strawberry Mansion and a lot of
times I wouldn't let him outside becausebullying, you know, by him being
tall, he would get out thereand just the fear of having something happen

to him. He understood but thenI'm sure as a child he probably had
some you know, resentment from like, you know, I can't go out
without something happening. So he wasdetermined as an adult to give back to
the community what he felt that hedidn't always and to provide a safe space
and to have some leadership and havesome support from individuals who really wanted to

see them when. What is yourmost vivid memory of your son? I
just I remember he was a godfearing man as well. I remember him
saying, Mom, he said,I have a calling and I said really,
I said, what do you thinkyour calling is? He said,
well, you know, my grandfatheris a pastor, and I feel like

I have a calling. And hesaid, I'm not sure if it's in
a poolpit, but I have acalling to change. He said, I
feel like I'm creating a legacy.And I said, well, son,
I said, you're young. Isaid, a legacy, you know,
in my opinion, I said thisto him, I said, it takes
years of work and dedication to createthis legacy, you know, because he

was big and he thought big andhe just was like, no, Mom,
I'm really going to do it.I'm going to create this big legacy
because I believe that God put mehere to do that. I said,
I believe you. I said,I'll support you however I can. But
I said, again, it's alot of work. He was determined.
Yeah, he was determined to doit. So he started because my grandson,

he started going to the schools.My grandson was having some acting out
behavior in school, and he wentup there and he was a single parent
of my grandson, and you know, he said, I want to go
up there and see what I cando to change his behavior, to see
what connections I can make, tosee what I can do. And when
he got there, he said hehad no idea that it wasn't just about

my grandson. He started seeing alot of stuff that was going on with
kids who didn't have fathers in theirlives, and you know, he said,
I want to volunteer. He said, I feel like I want to
be a part of their lives.So he became this father figure to all
these kids and they loved him.He just came there. He got him
into sports, football, basketball,He took him out on trips and as

a result of he said that hefelt that God led him to start a
nonprofit called destined for greatness, hesaid, because he believed that everybody is
destined to be great in his lifetime. Wow, what about your son makes
you smile? To be honest,Lorraine, everything, And I say that

humbly. I sit and I thinkabout him a lot, and I miss
him a lot. It's not aday that goes by, Lorraine that I
tell people. I said, asI stated in the second Trauma, I
said, it never gets old tome as a mother because I have so
so many fine memories and I'm soso proud of him for what he did

in his short time in the communityto really bring about change and to sit
and watch, Lorraine, things arestill happening. Things are happening for people
as a result of him. Withdis destined for greatness. In the school
system, it's a few teachers whohave they said, we're gonna continue,
We're going to take the baton andrun with what mister Daniel said. So

we have some kids who are beinghelped now. Groups are being started.
Young men, including their mind istaking the rein and just saying we're going
to go and do what he didand help these kids in the community who
really need help, who really needmentorship who really need to be heard,
because as inner city kids, theyfeel like they're not heard and they're not

understood. So my son honestly hadthe patience of job and he would sit
and listen and understand these kids,and he would come up with solutions to
try to help them in any wayhe could. You mentioned a maid,
and I wonder if you can justexplain who he is. He was a
good friend. He's also a gunviolence victim. Lost his brother. He

lost his brother, and prior tothen, he lost his friend. Armad
and my son worked together in theschool system and they always would laugh.
They said he could tear up aclassroom. He would come in and all
the kids when he would enter theroom would jump on his back because he
was big and tall, and hejust would shrink to like a child to

be that punching bag for them toplay and have this good playground and fun.
And they said, oh, man, Joe, you coming in here.
These kids are going to jump onyou. And this other guy named
Mike, who's the teacher as well, would always say that about Joe,
and our mind is like, youknow. Seeing that was encouragement to him.

So when he lost his brother.Of course, he was really really
broken and he would say to me, he said, Mama, Waite,
I don't know how you do it. And I said, first I have
to give honor to God, That'swhere my helps come from. And secondly,
just being determined to continue his legacy. And he did a lot of
footwork and I said, he woresizz eighteen you and I said, my

God, I said, how amI going to fill these big shoes?
But when I think about it,I said, that was God's intentionality.
Not only was he tall and stature, but he was a giant of a
person. His heart, he hada giant heart. I said, you
know, Lord, just give methe strength to be able to continue his

legacy, to continue to help,to continue to show me where the need
is for these young men and youngwomen who needs help. And having my
grandkids part of his legacy, justwatching them grow. My grandson is a
replica. He is fourteen, he'llbe fifteen next week, and he wears
a size seventeen and father like son, my son like father. So to

help them continue to heal and understand, using them also to get out here
and do things to promote healing andto help others. They all have good
hearts and like to help to dothings in a community as well. So
yes, well you talked earlier abouthow he said I want to have the

legacy. Well, clearly he createdthat and it continues. Yes, yeah,
so we met and I met you, and I met Ahmad who lost
his brother in a very well publicizedshooting that happened at Jefferson University Hospital.
He was a worker there, andthen your son was killed as well.

And one of the things we talkedabout was how the media can make a
situation that's just horrible much worse.And I wonder if you can talk about
some of the things that you experiencedand some of the things that you wish
that the media did better when coveringyour son's passing. I really feel that

they could have contact me and wecould have went over some things. They
could have got information, accurate informationas opposed to go and peace and things
together, you know, really beingmore understanding, being more compassionate. And
I think it was an unawareness.And when I spoke to a few journalists

and few news reporters, they wereunaware, like in their mind it was
like, Okay, we want tohelp, we want to get find a
killer or whatever. But in theinterim, you're destroying the family, and
you're destroying all the people around,the friends, all the associates who care
about this person. To see theglasses in the street. I'm one of

the teachers that worked with my sonalso came to the second trauma and she
called me Mama Wad as well.She said, Mama Wade, I never
saw that clip with the glasses andit would broke glasses in the street,
and she said, it really hurtme, yeah, you know, And
I said, yeah, I said, these were some of the things that
I was seeing. And a carleft running and you know, all this

stuff was being displayed without me evenknowing that this had even happened, right,
you know, age was wrong.Just the whole thing was wrong.
So I just feel that they shouldcontact and try to get in touch with
that the Mexican person, and solet's have a conversation and get accurate information
and just be mindful, not evenjust my story, other people where you

see shoes in the street and yousee the bodies and the covering and it's
just disheartening. It's okay when youlooking at it from a standpoint where that's
not your family member, but whenthat's your family member or your friend,
it crushed you. It really crushedyou to see that. Like I was
sick. And to this day,Laurene, I can't watch the news,

and I love the news. Ilove knowing what's going on. You know,
it's just to see all the violenceand to see different stuff in the
news where you know they still doit. It takes me back to that
place where I'm like, my God, somebody else is going to have to
go through that, and it reallybrings hurt and it brings back. It's

like a trigger. It just triggersme back to that time, and automatically,
you know, I had a spiritof tears. I start crying and
my heart is heavy for that familybecause I know what they're embarking upon and
I know what they're going to haveto go through. And it doesn't stop
there. It just goes on andon with your family where your family is

so affected and to this day,my family is very, very very affected
by my son's passing. Yeah,I think that what you've done so far
in our talking today is created amore full image of your son. People

are hearing what he meant to peoplethat he was part of a great organization,
Philadelphia Basketball doing wonderful work, thathe was a coach, there says
a lot about who he was asa person, right, Yes, what
has helped you continue on? WhenI first started working here, we had

the Stop the Violence, Increase thePeace campaign, right, and so I
covered a lot of where people losttheir loved ones and for better or worse.
I am not your typical reporter becauseit kills me every single time.
Right. So, but when Ibecame a mother, I looked at everything
with a completely different lens, andthat is that when you're a parent,

you have an understanding of what thestakes are. Right, you know what
you would be like if you lostyour child, and that's probably a parent's
worst fear, right, it's theworst. Indeed, Yeah, Indeed I
describe it, Lorraine is it's nogreater pain in the world than I lose

a child, and it is excruciating. What has kept me is my faith
and the legacy that he created inhis willingness to want everybody to be okay.
I know he would. He alwayssay that I lost my mother in
twenty thirteen, and him and mymother were really close, and one day,

I was crying in the room andI said, son, He said,
well, Mom, you okay.I said, I'm not. I
said, you know, I missmy mother and it's been a few years,
but I really miss her. Andhe said, Mom, you gonna
be all right. And I said, well, you're saying that you still
have me. I said, Ithought that when my grandmother passed, I
was very fond of her. Shepassed on my birthday, but I still
I was hurt, but she wassickly and I still had my mother.

But when my mother passed, itwas different. And then I said,
well you have me, so Idon't know. He said, you know
what, Mom, what my comfortis. He said, I'm gonna be
all right because I know where you'regoing. And he said my faith in
God is just that great where Iknow I'll see you again. So he
gave me a hug. He saidwe gonna be all right together, and

I was crying and he had away. He tried my eyes the raine and
I said, son, you knowwhat I know. And I said I
have the same faith that you have. But just being in this situation,
sometime it's okay to grieve. AndI go through that a lot I can
be at work, Lorraine, Ican be anywhere where. I think about
him. So often it's not aday, it's sometime it's not even an

hour to go by. And Isays, you know what, Lord,
I guess this is a part ofyour plan, so that this pain on
the inside of me can continue toproduce purpose in my life and the people
that's attached to me, and forthe whole world. I would like to
believe that because I want to seeeverybody be healed in the world. I
want to see love and peace andforgiveness in the world, because that's what

I taught him, That's what herepresents, and that's what I represent.
So with all of that being said, I said, you know, even
in his short time, he said, Mom, I'm thirty three. He
was excited on his birthday. Hewas born on Father's Day, and he
said, you know, I'm thesame age as Jesus. He said,
wherever he leads me, I'll follow. And he has that in his Instagram
and it's still up in his Facebook, and he posts a lot of spiritual

things every day. And a weekbefore he asked, he was out trying
to figure out how he can helpsomebody said, somebody DM me. You
know a kid was shot. Hesaid, I'm praying for the kid that
was shot and the kid that's facingcharges. And sometime I go back and
I look at that the rain,and it helps me because it helped me

say. I raised him to notbe a hypocrite. If he said forgive
everybody, he means that, andI taught him to be that way.
So I want to continue to dothat, continue to show people that we
can get through this with love andnot with hate. And even though it's
painful, and it's never not goingto be painful, but you can overcome

it with love, with giving back, with believing and having hope, being
hopeful. I really believe that.I really believe that. I'm thankful to
him. I'm thankful for his life. I'm thankful for his lagacy. I
just look stuff and I just smile, and we talk about and we say,

you know, how would Joe handlethis? We always say, you
know what, he would handle itthis way, So let's be strong in
this and go hit and press forward, because he would not want us say
it. He would not want usbeing depressed. He would want us to
continue to get up and see whatwe could do to bless somebody else,
and we're doing that. Yeah,we're doing that work. Yeah. Well,

clearly he is legacy lives on throughyou and every person that he's touched,
and it continues to radiate like apebble in a pond. Yes,
what is your last word about yourson, About the image of him that

persists in your head, in yourmind and your heart. Just his great
works and just him being such agood person and the amount of people in
this world the effect and he touched. I had kids reach out to me
that he coached, and kids saidhe mentored just a few weeks ago.
And he says, he's nineteen yearsold. And he said, Mom,

I know you're at work. Ineed to go and see mister Daniels at
the cemetery and talk to him.And he said, I'm going to drive.
He face taught me and I wasat work, and he said,
I can't remember where he was,but if I could stay on the phone
with you for you to show me. And I showed him and we lost
connection, and then I called himback to check on him. He had
found it and he was in tears, and he said, nothing has been

the same since you left. Weall miss you. We all miss you,
and all the kids at Kinderton Elementarywhere he was doing climate control manager
there. He did stuff at thethune. A few days before this happened
to him, he had broke upa fight. It was a riot,
and he wasn't even working there.He was working at Healthfleet. He was

helping working at the ambulance and hegot word of it and they called him
up, said could you come,And he went and he stayed out there
and diffused it and sent all thekids home. One kid got hurt and
he stayed with that kid until thefamily came to take him to the hospital.
And when I hear so many differentstories from people, it's always good
things. They come and they say, I want to meet the mother of

that young man. I want tomeet the person who raised this young man
to be such a caring person andhave so much kind love and commitment to
the community and to people. Andit just makes me smile. And I
just said, you know what,I'm grateful to God, and I'm grateful
that he listened, and I'm soproud of the man that he became,

and I want to continue his legacyin a mighty way to bless people and
to help people. I want everybodyin the world to know who Joe Daniels
was in a up his legacy andsome of the things that he did that
was very genuine from his heart.Angela Wade, whose son Joseph Daniels third,

was killed. But again, hislegacy lives on through you, Angie,
and also through all the people thathe touched, and of course through
your advocacy work. You're working withthe Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting and
was interviewed in Second Trauma, adocumentary about the impact of the media on

those survivors of gun violence. Soyou honor your son in so many different
ways, and certainly not the leastof which is to share who he was
with all of us. And wethank you for that. I thank you
for having me, La Raine.The only thing I can say, the
last thing I'll say is that themarathon will continue for my beloved Joseph Emanuel

Daniels third. It will continue,The great work will continue to go forth.
All right, Thank you so much. Thank you
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