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Flint man's path from prisoner to mentor inspires new documentary, comic book

Hubert Roberts during filming.
Courtesy of Geri Alumit Zeldes
Hubert Roberts during filming.


From a youthful act that landed him in prison, to becoming a man whose life work is mentoring youth in Flint, Hubert Roberts offers a powerful lesson in redemption.

Now that story is being told through the work of a Michigan State University professor and her team.

Their project is called Hubert: His-Story. It’s a documentary film and a comic book that feature the life and work of Hubert Roberts of Flint.

Roberts joined us today, along with Geri Alumit Zeldes, associate professor and director of Journalism Graduate Studies at MSU.

Roberts was convicted of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and aggravated assault when he was 29. He served 17 years in prison.

Since his release, he’s been working to ensure other young people don’t make the same mistakes that he did.

Zeldes and her team followed Roberts for a year, and met some of his students at Northwest High School.

“We show through the days that we followed Mr. Roberts, how much he means to these young men and women,” she says. “He really has become a father figure for not just one student, but many of the young men.”

Roberts says getting young people to know their history is “the foundation” of his work.

“If you don’t know what happened behind you, how are you going to have a clue what’s happening around you or in front of you? So that’s really, really important,” he says.

“We’re trying to get these children to think outside of the box, and they have to have an understanding about where they came from for that to be a possibility.”

Listen to our full conversation above for more about Roberts’ work and the upcoming documentary.

Hubert: His-Story will debut Friday, November 4 at Northwestern High School in Flint.

More information about the film and the comic book is available here.

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