Black History Collection

Black History Collection

Black History Collection


The Freeman Institute Black History Collection consists of well over 3,000 genuine artifacts and documents, with the oldest being dated 1553.

Over a million visitors have viewed pieces from Dr. Freeman's collection exhibited at the United Nations (twice), White House Communications Agency, Clinton Presidential Library, Secret Service, NIH and other venues.

Here is but a small glimpse into the collection:

1. Authentic, priceless slave ball, with handle (50 lb.) — #3 written on it, for “trouble-makers”, manufactured late 1600s — used on the London-based slave ship, Henrietta Marie, the oldest identifiable slave ship wreck in the world (summer, 1700) ; featured in National Geographic’s (Aug, 2002).

2. Three Wedgwood jasperware black on white Anti-Slavery medallions, with the bound slave on the front, and the words “Am I Not A Man and A Brother?” around it. Also, a rare 1800s antique bronze figure of man (weighs 18 oz.) in medallion.

3. One-of-a-kind signed letters/albums/contracts/sheet music from Nat King Cole, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Louis Armstrong, B. B. King, Ethel Waters, Pearl Bailey, Miles Davis, Fats Domino, Quincy Jones, Earl Hines, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis, Jr., Grover Washington, Jr., Count Basie, Mills Brothers, Ozzie Davis, Lena Horne, Four Tops, Cicely Tyson, James Brown, Charlie Pride, Bo Diddley, Bobby Blue and others…

4. A rare 1838 (third edition) copy of Phillis Wheatley’s book, “Memoir and Poems of Phillis Wheatley, A Native African and a Slave” — Includes memoir, George Washington’s letter to Wheatley, preface by John Wheatley, plus poems by another slave, George Moses Horton, with introduction and letters. And also the 1773 edition of the Gentleman’s Magazine — first published mention of Phillis Wheatley’s book, first printed in the UK, paid for by the Countess of Huntingdon.

5. The actual check Pearl Bailey was paid for her part in the movie, “Porgy and Bess. The check was signed with two signatures — Pearl Bellson and Pearl Bailey.

6. The actual signed contract for Ethel Water’s book, “His Eye Is On The Sparrow.”

CLICK here for more about the Black History Collection



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