Pierce Freelon is the founder of the blog Blackademics.org, where he has conducted interviews with such visionaries as Dr. Maya Angelou, Angela Davis, Reverend Jesse Jackson and Rakim. He is a Hip-Hop artist in the groups, The Beast, and Language Arts and the former Hip-Hop Coordinator for the national non-profit voter registration organization called Voices for Working Families. As Hip-Hop Coordinator, Freelon initiated Hip-Hop based voter registration drives, education initiatives and mobilization plans throughout the state of North Carolina. As the director of the Bebop to Hip-Hop program for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, Freelon represented the Hip-Hop community in U.S. State Department sponsored diplomatic tours in India and Vietnam. He earned his bachelor’s degree in African American Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his master’s in Pan-African Studies from Syracuse University.