Pierce Freelon

Pierce Freelon – Charismatic Professor of Black History, Hip-Hop and Jazz

Black Heritage – Diversity – Music History – Music Making – Confronting Racism – American History


Pierce Freelon is an Artivist – merging the worlds of art and activism, by any medium necessary. He is a professor of music and Black studies; an electrifying hip hop and jazz vocalist; the host of a popular PBS web-series; and a community organizer. Freelon’s lectures and performances are as entertaining as they are insightful, as he leads communities in dialogue and reflection, around questions of race, revolution, music and media. When he’s not teaching courses on beat making, or Black popular culture at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Freelon can be found in community music studios called Beat Making Labs, around the world – particularly on the continent of Africa. His presentations tackle some of the most pressing issues facing communities of color, from a radical, Pan-Africanist, intellectual and creative perspective.

Freelon earned his BA in African and Afro-American Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his MA in Pan African Studies from Syracuse University. He has captured the oral histories of dozens of Black Freedom fighters and Artivists, such as Dr. Maya Angelou, Danny Glover and Nikki Giovanni, and is the host of PBS web-series Beat Making Lab. He lectured in over a dozen countries, and has been featured in Wall Street Journal, NPR and Good Magazine.


Black Revolutions
Freelon explores Black resistance, both historically, and in the modern age of hashtag activism and mass protest.

Beat Making Lab
Welcome to the Beat Making Lab – an international network of community music studios, which has created new genres of music, and new possibilities for youth in around the globe.

Deconstructing Racism Through Creative Expression
An in-depth look at race as a cultural construct, this multi-media presentation grapples with the question of a post-racial America, and explores the redemptive, healing and emancipatory power of music and poetry.

Click here for more info & a printable version


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