BLACK HISTORY COLLECTION — Over 3,000 genuine documents and artifacts in The Freeman Institute Black History Collection. Oldest piece is dated 1553.

My collection has been showcased in exhibitions at the United Nations (twice), White House (3 times), FBI, Dept. of Justice, Secret Service (7times), and many other venues. Click to learn about each point below —

- What was the first book written by an African American? -- see #1.
- What was the name of the first recorded song (1926) in which Louis Armstrong actually sang? -- see #4.
- Was Alexander Dumas (Three Musketeers, Count of Monte Cristo, etc.) of African descent? -- see #11
- Who manufactured a line of beauty products for Black women before Madam C. J. Walker? -- see #14
- Who published 16 volumes of Black History comics from 1966-1977? -- see #25.
- What was Pearl Bailey paid for her role in the film, Porgy and Bess? -- see #27.
- What was the name of one of the Life Insurance companies that insured the slaves brought over from Africa -- see #30.
- What role did the Royal African Company play in the African Slave Trade? -- see #35.
- What was Frederick Douglass doing in Dundee, Scotland in 1846? -- see #37.
- Who were the early Lindy Hoppers? -- see #40.
- What is the oldest identifiable slave ship wreck in the world? -- see #44.
- How did a famous British actress effect the outcome of the Civil War? -- see #61.
- Who was the emperor of Ethiopia from 1855 to 1868 and what did he accomplish? -- see #66.
- How many compositions could "Blind Tom" play on the piano? -- see #70.
- What is the true history behind the African American lawn jockey images? -- see #72.
- What was the primary catalyst behind the mass exodus of Blacks from the Republican Party after 1922? -- see #76.
- What sponsored the "three-fifths" concepts regarding slaves in the South? -- see #95.
- What slave won his freedom in a Louisville, KY horse race...36 years before the Kentucky Derby? -- see #96.
- What US industry employed over 3,000 African Americans (1/6 of labor force) from 1803-1860? -- see #99.
- Out 44 States reporting lynchings, how many States reported more whites being lynched than blacks? -- see #102.
- How did George Washington's visit to Barbados (1751-51) impact the outcome of the Revolutionary War? -- see #103.
- Who had his heart buried in Africa and his body buried in Westminster Abbey almost a year later? -- see #105.
- Who helped the escape of the first black man to be seized in New England under the Fugitive Slave Act? -- see #111
- How did the term "Jim Crow" get started? -- see #113
- What is the name and story of the slave owned by a Native American Indian in Louisiana? -- see #121
- Who employed Frederick Douglass as a ship caulker in New Bedford, MA? -- see #122
- What is the oldest piece (1553) in this collection? -- see #21
- Who was the African American juror in the 1882 trial for Guiteau, the one who assassinated President Garfield? -- see #120

This collection:
1. Tears down barriers between Blacks and Whites, young and old...
2. Opens hearts and changes minds...
3. Surrounds Black people with their ancestors, giving a sense of awe and wonderment for people of all nationalities and ethnicities...
4. Causes people to think and want to learn more, leading to continuing achievement, scholarship and education...
5. Leaves a truthcentric legacy...
6. Informs the groundbreaking K-12 Black History 365 curriculum

Feel free to take a look at the K-12 Black History curriculum that is being informed by this collection --

#blackhistory #blackhistorymonth #Blackhistorycollection #blackHistoryexhibit #education


BLACK HISTORY 365 -- For such a time as this. An opportunity to participate in the K-12 Black History 365 curriculum project I am a part of developing. We are providing curricula for all the Grade Bands throughout public and private education, Title 1, charter, parochial, home schools, et al: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12. To participate, check out this website --

Many of the school Superintendents and other educators throughout the country have used words like "ground-breaking and 'historic" when trying to describe this project.


#blackhistory #superintendents #superintendent #educationalleadership #educators #educator #schools #school #teachertraining #teacher #teachers #teachersandschoolemployees #teacherlife #teachersofinstagram #teachersfollowteachers #teachersmatter #teachersrock #joelfreeman #freemaninstitute


Should you ever find yourself the target of other people’s bitterness, smallness, or insecurities...remember...things could be worse.

You could be them...


UNCLE TOM REVISITED: Rescuing the Real Character from the Caricature -- Today the phrase "Uncle Tom" evokes a powerfully negative image in American society. It depicts a weak, subservient, cringing black man who betrays his race and its struggle for liberation. David Reynolds, an English professor in the Graduate School of the City University of New York (CUNY), returns to the original "Uncle Tom's Cabin" to reveal that the character Harriet Beecher Stowe described in her 1852 novel is wholly opposite of the caricature we now imagine. His article explores how Stowe's Uncle Tom evolved into our contemporary negative image of Uncle Tom.
PERSONAL NOTE: Having read "Uncle Tom's Cabin" years ago I have always viewed Uncle Tom as a compassionate man who made the best of a challenging situation. A transformative figure who died to save others. Because that, I have always wondered why and how Uncle Tom became such passive, subservient figure. And how many who use this term have actually read the book?
The novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe, born 200 years ago, was an unlikely fomenter of wars. Diminutive and dreamy-eyed, she was a harried housewife with six children who suffered various obscure illnesses, worsened by her persistent hypochondria. And yet, driven by a passionate hatred of slavery, she found time to write Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which became the most influential novel in American history and a catalyst for radical change both at home and abroad.

Today, of course, the book has a decidedly different reputation, thanks to the popular image of its titular character, Uncle Tom — a name that has become a byword for a spineless sell-out, a black man who betrays his race.

But this view is egregiously inaccurate: Uncle Tom was physically strong and morally courageous, an inspiration for blacks and other oppressed people worldwide. In other words, Uncle Tom was anything but an “Uncle Tom.”

Stowe describes Tom as “a large, broad-chested, powerfully-made man” with a “self-respecting and dignified” look that indicates “grave and steady good sense.” A man around forty with a wife and three children, he is notable precisely because he does not betray fellow enslaved blacks. He turns down an opportunity to escape from his Kentucky plantation because he doesn’t want to put his fellow slaves in danger of being sold or punished.

Later on, he endures a terrible whipping at the hands of the cruel slaveowner Simon Legree because he refuses to reveal where two enslaved women are hiding. We are told that Tom “felt strong in God to meet death, rather than betray the helpless.” Legree regards Tom as a brash troublemaker who is despicable because he is unflinching: “Had not this man braved him,--steadily, powerfully, resistlessly,--ever since he bought him?” After the Civil War a group of ex-slaves to whom the novel was read aloud declared that few enslaved blacks would have dared to resist their master as determinedly as Tom does.

Moreover, in a day when blacks were widely regarded by whites as subhuman, lustful, or comically irresponsible, Uncle Tom’s Cabin demonstrated that they were capable of the full range of feelings—loyalty, friendship, sorrow, pity, and religious devotion. On every page, Stowe made a crystal-clear point: blacks were human, and to enslave them was evil.

That’s why in the mid-nineteenth century Southerners savagely attacked “Uncle Tom Cabin” as a dangerously radical book. A Southern political cartoon depicted Stowe in hell, surrounded by demons and holding a book titled Uncle Tom’s Cabin. I Love the Blacks. Previously, Southerners had thought it unnecessary to write lengthy defenses of slavery, which was seen as a natural part of the American system.

But Uncle Tom’s Cabin made its point so powerfully and with such popular success—it sold over 300,000 copies in America and around 1.5 million abroad in a year--that it provoked numerous attacks in Southern poems, reviews, articles, and books. Thirty novels were written in reply to “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” In these so-called anti-Tom novels, slavery was presented as a wonderful institution, sanctioned by the Bible and by the laws of the land, that provided ignorant African savages with shelter, food, and religious instruction.

Meanwhile, Stowe’s novel greatly strengthened antislavery sentiment in the North. For the first time, Northerners felt the horrors of slavery on their nerve endings. Many antislavery reformers jumped on the Uncle Tom juggernaut. Previously, the antislavery movement had been divided between small, conflicting groups that were widely unpopular. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was a force for unity and cohesion among these fragmented groups. Stowe was overjoyed by the embrace of her novel by different antislavery factions...


BOXER GEORGE GODFREY...A.K.A. "Old Chocolate" -- Born in 1853 (Prince Edward Island, Canada.) Died in 1901 (Revere, MA)

Pretty much forgotten today, George Godfrey was the reigning “Black Boxing Champion of America” over a century ago. In an era when law prohibited mixed athletic competition, white boxers routinely "drew the color line" against their Negro counterparts.

Born in Charlottetown, P.E.I. on March 20, 1853, George Godfrey would leave the Island as a boy, to find employment as a porter in Boston's bustling silk importing offices.

Joining the boxing classes at Professor Bailey's Hub City gym, George would be nearly thirty when he made his pro debut at Harry Hill's notorious music hall, clearly out-punching the veteran Professor Hadley in their six-round draw. Godfrey's powerful right hand deftly kayoed a string of lesser opponents, prompting Godfrey to style himself as the colored champion of America.

During his career, Godfrey defeated such men as McHenry Johnson ("Minneapolis Star", Patsy Cardiff, "Denver" Ed Smith, Joe Lannon, Jack Ashton, C.A.C. Smith and Jack Wannop.

A historic contest between "Old Chocolate" and the legendary John L. Sullivan was forestalled when police entered the Bailey Gym in September 1881, separating the two boxers who had already stripped for action. Later attempts to match the two boxers were unsuccessful, as Sullivan went on to win the bare-knuckle title from Paddy Ryan in 1882, and was reluctant to risk losing the heavyweight crown to his Black opponent.

George Godfrey, at a fighting weight of 175 pounds on a 5' 10 ½” frame, would be considered only a light-heavyweight by today's standards. "Old Chocolate" engaged in an estimated 100 bouts, many with boxers, both black and white, who outweighed him by up to twenty pounds.

His defeat at the hands of Australia's legendary black champion, the 195-pound Peter Jackson, for the World Colored Championship would take place August 24, 1888, at San Francisco, after a grueling 19 rounds. "So long as I had to be beaten," Godfrey remarked to a San Francisco reporter the next day, "I'm glad I was beaten by the best man in the world." And no less than James J. Corbett, Jim Jeffries and Tom Sharkey – champions all – would go on to claim that Peter Jackson, boxing's "Black Prince," was the greatest fighter they had ever witnessed.

Among Godfrey's most notable ring victories are those over Peter Maher, Denver Ed Smith, McHenry Johnson, Irish Joe Lannon, Patsy Cardiff, Steve O'Donnell and Joe Doherty. Among his hard-fought ring defeats to other all-time boxing greats should be mentioned his knockout in the 44th round by the mighty Jake Kilrain.

K-12 Black History Curriculum --

Godfrey was 40 years of age when he stepped into the ring with Joe Choynski, regarded as the finest Jewish boxer in history, and fifteen years younger than "Old Chocolate." Age had finally caught up with Godfrey, and Choynski's superlative boxing skills and punching power were too much for the grand old man of the ring.

After his 1895 victory over Billy Woods in Baltimore, George retired from active competition. He began conducting a successful boxing school out of Boston, which produced several champions. As late as 1899, "Old Chocolate" would tour Prince Edward Island in the company of Big Dan O'Keefe of Campbellton, P.E.I., to the delight of thousands of spectators.

A shrewd businessman and happily married father of six, George would die at his Revere, Massachusetts home on August 18, 1901, at the age of 48. Characteristic of his courage in the boxing ring, when he was told he had only a few hours to live, Godfrey asked to be moved out of his bed, to stand once more on his own two feet. With one mighty effort he stood proudly erect, only to fall back onto the bed, unconscious. He would die a moment later.


MUHAMMAD ALI'S Advice To His Daughters (worth your time) -- An incident transpired when Muhammad Ali’s daughters arrived at his home wearing clothes that were quite revealing. Here is the story as told by one of his daughters:

“When we finally arrived, the chauffeur escorted my younger sister, Laila, and me up to my father’s suite. As usual, he was hiding behind the door waiting to scare us. We exchanged many hugs and kisses as we could possibly give in one day. My father took a good look at us. Then he sat me down on his lap and said something that I will never forget. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You've got to work hard to get to them.” He looked at me with serious eyes. “Your body is sacred. You’re far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too.”

  • About
  • —Over one million people have experienced The Freeman Institute exhibitions at the United Nations, White House, Secret Service, US Dept of Justice, FBI and many other venues throughout the country.

    This is a rather comprehensive collection of 3,000+ genuine documents and artifacts. — I am coauthoring a K-12 Black History curriculum available Fall, 2019 for public, Title 1, Charter, parochial, Christian and home schools. You are encouraged to tell your local school Superintendent to visit our website and then to contact us. — My journey...

    ON THIS PAGE I will share some historical stories that most students were never taught in school.