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In the dozens of  18th century swashbuckling pirate films made over the years from, "Treasure Island" & "Captain Blood" to "Pirates of the Caribbean" you’d never know that historically, many pirates were actually black, of African descent. One early pirate film from 1926, “The Black Pirate", starred Douglas Fairbanks but of course, no black pirates.

As the massive wealth was being hoarded that built empires across Europe from the ill gotten gains of the African slave trade, sugarcane production and gold from South America, black pirates were sailing those waters killing, capturing ships, liberating slaves, and helping themselves to the defeated ships treasures and valuable cargo splitting the booty equally. Yes, there was a semblance of early democracy among many pirate motley crews. “All for one and one for all" was the real deal among many of these rebel ship mates. Some of the black pirates were former merchant sailors who mutinied. Some from ships taken by pirates who decided to join up. Some were former slaves that fled plantations and some became captains of their own ships. For most black pirates, this was the only alternative to slavery. 

The tales of their exploits are epic, chilling and incredible, yet have never been told, illustrated or painted.

This series of works, "Black Pirates, Return” marks the beginning of telling their stories. 

Fab 5 Freddy

Freddys' pirate on a boat latest art work


Jack Johnson crystal prints

Crystal Punch


"Brathwaite says “I started doing these boxers first, then just started adding these women to have a female counterbalance. They’re not necessarily strippers, I see them as showgirls. The pole was added as a formal element after the images were rendered, kind of like a sexy icon, like a Vargas pin-up, or a Renoir nude. I found out later that one of the boxers was the British heavyweight champion David Haye, but it was more about what was happening on the surface.” 

Fred Brathwaite Crystal punch flyer


Fred tag