A public servant and musician who finds a way to interweave both passions which forms the basis of Black to the Future

Rev Al Sharpton/MSNBC

His Black creativity aims to diversify children's music


Showcasing the beauty of Black fatherhood through song

Parents Magazine

Pierce Freelon is defining his won narrative in blackness, art and parenting


Engaging, fun and effective, Freelon is a wonderful musician and story-teller!

Teacher, Durham School of the Arts

The students thoroughly enjoyed the performance. It captivated their attention for the entire time and students were talking about the assembly for the rest of the day

Teacher, Bugg Elementary School

Freelon strives to expand the complexion of children's and family music



Pierce Freelon is a GRAMMY® nominated musician, author, and educator from Durham, North Carolina. Pierce has traveled the world teaching Hip Hop and music production as co-creator of Beat Making Lab, an Emmy Award-winning PBS web-series. He is the writer, composer and co-director of the animated series History of White People in America, an official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival. Pierce is also the founder of Blackspace, an Afrofuturism digital maker space for Durham youth. He has taught in the departments of Political Science, Music and African, African American and Diaspora Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University.

Pierce’s critically acclaimed children’s music has been featured on Today Show, NPR, Billboard, Rolling Stone, Now This, Parents Magazine, MSNBC with Reverend Al Sharpton and more. His album Black to the Future was nominated for Best Children’s Music Album at the 2022 GRAMMY® Awards, the same year his mother Nnenna Freelon’s album Time Traveler was nominated for Best Jazz Album — making Recording Academy history as the first mother and son to be nominated for golden gramophones in different fields at the same GRAMMY Awards. His debut Children’s picture book, Daddy-Daughter Day was released with Little, Brown books in 2022. Freelon is a former Durham City Councilman, a husband and a father of two based in Durham, North Carolina.


Designing Black History

Discover Black history – the quintessential American story – through the design of its most enduring institution: the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Pierce Freelon gives an intimate glimpse into the mind of the museum’s architect of record, his late father Phil Freelon, and explores how his living legacy continues to shape the Black futures.

From Racism to Afrofuturism
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.

Shape Change
Not your typical Starbucks diversity training, Shape Change is a creative collaboration exploring dynamic communication and solidarity building through the arts. Led by Professor, musician and filmmaker Pierce Freelon, elements of this WokeShop have been shaped by Pierce’s radical grassroots community work across four continents. Inspired by the words of science fiction writer Octavia Butler, Shape Change invites participants to become sculptors – to tell stories, foster empathy and co-create a better world.

Words Create Worlds
Grammy nominated Children’s musician and picture book author Pierce Freelon reveals how he uses words to create worlds for children and families. Through engaging storytelling and music that will have the audience dancing in their seats, Pierce shares gems from his creative practice, which kids and adults alike can utilize to build more joyful and creative lives.

Building Blackspace
Pierce Freelon believes that if we want a more diverse, equitable, and just future, we need to invest in the next generation of young futurists. He created Blackspace, a digital maker space for Black kids, and has offered free programs from his home in Durham, North Carolina to international communities in Democratic Republic of Congo and Haiti. Join Pierce for a creative conversation on how we can all nurture young visionaries in North Carolina and beyond.

Building Butterflies: How Girls Transform the World
In 2022, Grammy-nominated Children’s Musician Pierce Freelon partnered with the Mariposa (Butterfly) DR Foundation, which believes that “girls are the most powerful force for change”. He traveled to Dominican Republic to make music, tell stories and build puppets with Dominican and Haitian girls in recognition of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Join Pierce for an exploration of how art, education and expression can amplify the voices of young women, and ultimately be leveraged to end generational poverty.