The Emancipation of Evan Walls: A Conversation with Author and VCU alumnus Jeffrey Blount
James Branch Cabell Library, Lecture Hall (Room 303)
901 Park Ave., Richmond, Va., 23284
Acclaimed author and VCU alumnus Jeffrey Blount discusses his book The Emancipation of Evan Wells. The event will be followed with a Q&A, book sale and reception.
This event is free and open to all, but please register. Parking is available for a fee in the West Broad Street, West Main Street and West Cary Street parking decks. If special accommodations are needed, or to register offline, please call the VCU Libraries Events Office, at (804) 828-0593.
About the speaker
Jeffrey Blount is an Emmy Award–winning television director whose 34-year career at NBC News included a decade of directing such shows as Meet the Press, The Today Show, The Chris Matthews Show and others. He is a commentator on issues of race and social justice and also an accomplished novelist whose latest book, The Emancipation of Evan Walls, is forthcoming this spring from Koehler Books.
About the book
Evan Walls has been married to his wife Izzy for thirteen years, yet she knows nothing about half of his life. However, the birth of their first child changes everything. Evan, fearful of a reincarnation of his childhood in the life of his new daughter, finally finds the courage to tell his wife.
It is June 1968. The Civil Rights movement is winding down after the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. Evan is ten years old and, in the jargon of the times, young, gifted and black. In the presence of his parents and a summer porch gathering of their friends, he makes a startling declaration. From that moment on, the central question of his life is born. Is he black enough?
Evan has a dream that will turn the sleepy town of Canaan upside down, forcing him to walk the slippery and angry slope between blacks and whites. In time, his dream disintegrates a family, a marriage, countless friendships and a dramatic first love. Only his great-grandmother, Mama Jennie and mentor, Bojack, help him fight to keep his dream alive. Only Izzy can help him come to grips with what he learns from telling his traumatic life story.