-- Joel Freeman speaks all over the world on various topics (leadership, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, diversity...) to many different organizations.

In this brief animated video the "Grass and Concrete" concept is expressed. Concrete is a metaphor for all the horrific things that have happened around the Slave Trade, slavery, Jim Crow, and the struggle for Civil Rights.

"BLADES OF GRASS IN A CONCRETE JUNGLE" -- The blades of grass are a metaphor for all of the people who have cracked through the concrete, leaving a legacy of inspiration and hope. Harriet Tubman, William Wilberforce, Dr. Martin Luther King, Frederick Douglass, Jr, John Brown, and Sojourner Truth are brief illustration of blade of grass that cracked through the concrete.

Transcending race, class and ethnicity, this video will be the "branding concept" for all future Overcomer's Galleries and resources...setting up the opportunity to add educational content about the many known and unknown people who broke through the concrete.

Contact us to learn how you can help to establish a Black History "Overcomer's" Gallery in your community.

Joel served as mentor/chaplain for the NBA Washington Bullets/Wizards for 19 years (1979-'98). This is where his interest in Black History was launched.

After years of research, Dr. Joel A. Freeman has cobbled together a rather remarkable Black History collection of well over 3,000 genuine documents and artifacts. The oldest piece is dated 1553 --

Dr. Freeman's collection has been showcased two years in a row in the United Nations "Transatlantic Slave Trade" exhibition, with well over a half a million visitors reviewing both exhibits.

One of the items that was exhibited at the United Nations was a priceless 50 pound slave ball found off the coast of Florida at the site of the oldest documented slave ship wreck, the Henrietta Marie. The ship sank sometime between June and July of 1700.

Another item was an authentic metal neck piece, designed to be welded permanently around the neck of a young female slave. It has metal balls and rings incorporated into the piece so that her movements could be detected at all times.

Another piece on exhibition was the one-of-a-kind 1833 document hand written by Lord Aberdeen, who at that time was the British Foreign Consul in Trieste, Italy. It announced what would happen to any British subject who was still involved in the Slave Trade. Aberdeen later became the Prime Minister of Great Britain.

Also included were two signed 1858 slave insurance policies from La Protectora, an insurance company in Cuba, providing proof that slave traders routinely covered the people they enslaved with life insurance policies. Consequently, they didn't care if they had to push slaves overboard or even if the slaves lived or died on the voyage. The traders were paid regardless.

Many other items were also on display, including: engravings of slave ships, a document about a Chinese slave in Cuba written in Chinese on one side and Spanish on the other, a 14-page hand written Peruvian register (1811) from San Bartolome' Hospital (built in the late 1600s) listing the African slaves, and an extremely rare plaque (Eastgate Pottery) commemorating William Wilberforce and his anti-slavery campaign.

The Freeman Institute Black History Collection is utilized by The Freeman Institute Foundation to help establish Black History Galleries across America and in selected communities internationally -- designed to educate and inspire young people of all ages --

The United Nations is continuing to show documents from The Freeman Institute Black History Collection in their on-going exhibition traveling around the world. Already eleven nations have signed on (Madagascar, Colombia, Switzerland, Senegal, Trinidad & Tobago, Bolivia, etc.), with more countries expressing interest in hosting the exhibit.

For pictures of some of the items go to

To learn more:
Freeman Institute:
Black History "Overcomer's" Gallery Project:
Return To Glory (book/film):
Freeman Institute Foundation:
Black History Presentations with Dr. Freeman:

Tel: 410-729-4011

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