Friday, February 12, 2016

African Diaspora Tourism: Crossing Bridges: White Leaders Who Have Championed Black History and Cultural Heritage

Dr. Joel Freeman

Kitty J. Pope writes:

 I included you in an article that I did. Here is the link.

The rich history and cultural heritage of people of African descent is a story of uniqueness and resilience. Black people have made important contributions in virtually all fields, and their descendants have been proud to share their knowledge of these contributions. But all people who share this knowledge to ensure that black history and cultural heritage will be acknowledged and preserved are not black themselves. Some champions in this field are white leaders who understood that the influences and contributions of people of African descent are a part of history in general. These leaders have made in-roads on educating and bringing awareness about black history and cultural heritage to the public through various means that include teaching, research, seminars, events, museums, exhibits, media and the preservation of historic sites and information.
One such leader who could stand shoulder to shoulder with the most knowledgeable black person about black history is Dr. Joel Freeman.  The president of the Freeman Institute, Dr. Freeman presents seminars and speaks all over the world on various topics related to leadership, team work, success principles and yes, Black History.  An accomplished author, he has over three decades of research on Black History and a collection of over 3,000 authentic black cultural heritage documents and artifacts under his belt. Having traveled to over 50 countries, he has researched, identified and verified important information about Black History in what he calls “A White Man’s Journey in Black History,” on which he has created a two-hour DVD.  
Dr. Freeman is also the co-author of Return to Glory: The Powerful Stirring of the Black Man, a book that exposes racist distortions of African achievements, analyzes examples of African American success stories and offers a process for individual healing and cross-cultural understanding. Yet there are still sceptics of his work on Black History because he is white. Some believe that his race disqualifies him from being an expert in the field. Dr. Freeman says, “There will always be criticism and misunderstanding...but overall, people have been very patient and kind...and intrigued by my passion.” Despite his extensive research, collections and documentations, Dr. Freeman explains that he does not consider himself an expert, and that he is limited by his own life's experiences as a white Canadian. He firmly believes that Black History is a wonderful gateway to greater understanding and mutual respect.

Following is a list of 20 white leaders from around the globe who have contributed significantly to Black history and cultural heritage:

20)William Zick – A retired administrative law judge, and former training officer for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, Zick is the founder of He launched the site in 2000 as a nonprofit educational venture promoting awareness of African heritage in classical music. The first page was devoted to Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges and within a few months was joined by pages on several other composers and musicians of African descent. Black Classical Music has become a global phenomenon and Zick’s site has visitors now come from over 100 countries each year.  The site which is available in two languages, English and French contains information on over 52 outstanding composers, conductors and instrumental performers of Africa, the Americas and Europe. (

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