Pierce Freelon

Pierce Freelon

Blackspace

Pierce Freelon is a professor, musician, Emmy-Award winning producer, founder of Blackspace, and former candidate for mayor of Durham. Born and raised in Durham, Pierce has traveled the world, building spaces for creative expression and social justice. In 2012 he co-founded Beat Making Lab, a PBS web-series, which took him from community centers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to making beats with environmentalist Jane Goodall. In 2016 he founded Blackspace, a digital maker space where young people learn about music, film and coding, in Durham. He is the frontman of the jazz and hip-hop band The Beast. Pierce earned a BA in African and African American Studies at UNC Chapel Hill and an MA in Pan African Studies at Syracuse University. He has taught music, political science, and African American studies at both UNC Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University.