South Bound Lecture Series

Jeffrey Blount

Wednesday, February 5, 2020
6:00 p.m.
Bessie Smith Cultural Center
200 E ML King Blvd, Chattanooga, TN 37403
Admission is free, but reservations are requested.
Presented in partnership with:
With support from

About the Author

Jeffrey Blount is author to three books: Hating Heidi Foster, Almost Snow White, and The Emancipation of Evan Walls. He retired from NBC News in February of 2017. During a 34-year career, he won an Emmy, directed a decade of Meet The Press, The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, The Chris Matthews Show and major special events. Jeffrey is also an accomplished public speaker, commenting on issues of race, social justice and writing. He was a contributor for HuffPost and has been published in The Washington Post,  and other publications.  Presently, he is a Shapiro Fellow and Journalist in Residence at The George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs. In 2016, he was inducted into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame.

About the Book

Evan Walls has been married to his wife Izzy for years, yet she knows nothing about half of his life. That part of him he put away long ago and they have lived peacefully alongside the dead spot it has left in their love. 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. Desperate, he hopes that she can help him protect their child. It is June 1968. The Civil Rights movement is winding down after the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. Negroes in the town of Canaan, Virginia have been used to acting the same, thinking the same and sharing in the unadulterated hatred of a common enemy. 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 threatens to disintegrate a family and a tear a community apart, leaving him lost between two worlds, walking the slippery slope between blacks and whites. Only his greatgrandmother, Mama Jennie and mentor, Bojack, help him fight to keep his dream alive. And only Izzy can help him come to grips with what he learns from telling his traumatic life story.

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