by Pat Freeman
James J. Freeman MD PhD was the first black to graduate from the University of New York at Buffalo with both MD and PhD in 1974. At the time of this historical achievement he was one of 20 in the world who had achieved this level of academic excellence. He was a model family man first and foremost above all things. This was the greatest lesson that he taught me in my youth was to put nothing above God, family, and justice for his people.
Dr. Freeman received his B.S. degree from Morehouse College, MS from Long Island University, PhD in Biochemistry Physiology from Georgetown University, and finally his MD degree from the University of New York at Buffalo. He also taught in the science department at Howard University from 1966-1970. While in Medical school at the University of New York at Buffalo he was the first medical student to teach a course while enrolled to become a physician at the same time.
Dr Freeman also was a very religious man and devout Christian and a member of St John’s Baptist church where he served as an ordained deacon, and helped to organize the Nurse Guild of the church. During his tenure he became affiliated in many fraternal orders and lived his life by the motto Friendship is Essential to the Soul of his fraternity Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. where he crossed the burning sands in the fall of 1952 at Psi Chapter at Morehouse College. Other organizations include:
Pride of Western New York Protective Order of the Elks
St. John’s Lodge #16 Free & Accepted Masons Prince Hall
Bison Consistory #29 Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Masonry Prince Hall Affiliated
Hadji Temple #61 Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order of the Mystic Shrine Prince Hall Affiliated
Dr. Freeman loved to research, this was I believe his true Academic love. He has been published many times by the top scientific journals of the world in which he debunked the racist Policy on Haitian women as being the origin of the HIV Virus in the early 1990’s. He presented his finding at a science consortium put together by Cornell University at the University of New York at Stony Brook. While during further advanced research he detected a common tie to the use of Talcum powders an ovarian cancer long before anybody else knew that the use of these were a carcinogenic threat to women.
He was also an inventor and was awarded a United States patent on his design of a hospital gown during the mid 1980s. During his career he delivered thousands of babies into this world and looked after every patient with high level of moral integrity. His greatest achievement to me was his love of family. Everything that he was as a person can be found on that moral compass we call life. From his humble beginnings of Hallsboro, North Carolina he learned the value of moral servitude towards all members of the human race, but always let you know in a minute that he would defend his family at all cost, and By Any Means Necessary!
It’s hard for me to believe that it has been 23 years since he made his transition, and exalted to the highest degree of Ancestor, but it has. Though I accept the decision of the Supreme Basileus of the Universe I can’t help but to miss him. Yes a true Son of Blood and Thunder but most importantly he was my Dad. Respect and Honor forever James J. Freeman MD PhD April 17, 1933-April 18, 1993.
Pat Freeman writes for the Buffalo Criterion. If you enjoy talking about the world of sports tune into the number#1 sports show in the nation every Saturday from 4:00-5:00PM hosted by WUFO Sports Director Patrick Freeman on 1080AM WUFO radio, radio app., Periscope, or via the internet at www.wufoam.com. Or catch Sports Update for clbTV (ch.20 Buffalo) and YouTube.