Precisely one year before the events of the show took place, he was in the sixth grade. When he was a freshman to Hurston Middle School, he was bullied and hazed by a mean-spirited bully named Lamont Sampson. Lamont tricked him into thinking the school had a swimming pool and sold him a fake pool pass for two dollars. Then soon afterwards, Lamont beat him up giving him a black eye, after which Jamal reported him to the principal. Jamal was really embarrassed and humiliated from these events, and this could be his possible reasons for taking up his interests in weightlifting and martial arts.
Then in the first episode (when the current events of the show begun), he inadvertently released a "ghost" from an old book. During this time, his older sister Danitra was heading off to college (the reason for Jamal and his father being in the basement trying to move an old trunk). In the interim, she gave her computer to Jamal for safe keeping. While Jamal was in his room setting up the computer, the "Ghostwriter" began writing to him. In a way, Jamal became the de facto leader of what was soon to be called the "Ghostwriter Team." A scientist at heart, he often dreamed of conducting experiments in space. He was also into karate. Jamal also has a crush on fellow student Jasmine.
Later on, viewers were acquainted with Jamal's younger cousin Casey Austin, to whom Ghostwriter also communicated.
By the end of the second season, Jamal learned that he was admitted to a High School of Science.
- "Ghost Story" - Jamal met Ghostwriter for the first time, along with Alex, Lenni and Gaby.
- "Who Burned Mr. Brinker's Store?" - Jamal was accused of burning an electronics store run by an easily agitated mid-aged man, Mr. Brinker.
- "Who's Who?" - Grandma Cecilia became sick.
- "Am I Blue?" - Jamal has to deal with the fact, that he now has to tutor his school bully Lamont Sampson. Jamal has to tutor him in math to help Lamont graduate.
- "Get the Message" - Jamal and Rob raced against time to prevent Ghostwriter from fading forever (due to a huge split in the team which was the result of a misunderstanding between the other four members of the team), and get said members to talk to each other.
- "Just in Time" - Jamal and company helped Ghostwriter solve a case that occurred in Jamal's house in 1928, a case that could change the future of Jamal's family and the team.
- "Who is Max Mouse?" - Jamal gave the team a quick introduction to the internet and helped in stopping a hack from wreaking havoc at Hurston! He was also working on his application for the High School of Science, which was electronically stolen.
- "A Crime of Two Cities" - Jamal and his parents spent Christmas vacation in London. There, Ghostwriter helped Jamal, along with two British kids, foil a kidnapping scheme set to occur in New York involving a British author's son.
- "Four Days of the Cockatoo" - Casey, Jamal's cousin, comes to visit his family while her mother tries to recover from sickness.
- Jamal is in the epilogue of the 2019 reboot Ghostwriter book Trinity, along with Gaby.