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Mon, 07.16.1923

Mari Evans, Writer, and Teacher born

Mari Evans

Mari Evans, a Black educator, and writer was born on this date in 1923.

She was born in Toledo, Ohio, and raised in a very traditional Black family. She attended the University of Toledo.  Evans pursued a career in teaching, lecturing on literature and writing in several schools in the Midwest and East, including Indiana University, Purdue, and Spelman College. Evans wrote, produced, and directed a television program called "The Black Experience" for an Indianapolis television station. She has won many awards for her poetry. including the Indiana University Writers' Conference award, and the Black Academy of Arts and Letters' first annual African American educator and writer poetry award.

Evans wrote a play, "River of My Song," which was produced in 1977 and in 1979, the musical "Eyes," an adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston's book, "Their Eyes Were Watching God." Evans published two collections of poetry, "Nightstar: 1973-1978," in 1981 and "A Dark and Splendid Mass" in 1992. She is also the editor of other literature collections. Some of her poetry, "A Hand Is on the Gate" and "Walk Together Children," have been choreographed and used on records albums, filmstrips, and off-Broadway productions.

Evans resides in Indianapolis and is an assistant professor at Cornell University. She is the author of numerous articles and five children's books. Her work has been included in more than 400 anthologies and textbooks.

Reference:
The Academy of American Poets
588 Broadway, Suite 604
New York, NY 10012-3210

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