Freeman Word

Freeman Word

ABOG Fellow for Socially Engaged Art

As an ABOG Fellow, Freeman Word will create the Zakatu Madrasa, a cooperatively owned and operated spiritual subscription bookstore in St. Louis. Referring to historical African educational institutions (both secular and religious), the Madrasa will bring together artists, educators, activists and young people of color to co-create art addressing regional social issues.

Artist Bio

Freeman Word is a teacher, mentor and people’s poet in the tradition of shamans, griots, and disenfranchised urban artists of before-now. His poetry covers topics of government, life, freedom, divinity, and untold history, and happens in jails, schools, community centers, street corners and college campuses internationally. He was the 2012 WU-SLam Grand Slam Champion and later part of the 2015 UrbSlam Grand Slam Championship, being on the 6th place national team representing St. Louis. Freeman is a humble recipient of the Langston Hughes Award for Artistic Accomplishments in the Black Community, the Helen Davis Humanitarian Award, and a 2016 Regional Arts Commission CAT Fellow.

Artist portrait by Jennifer Korman Photography.

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