The Emancipation of Evan Walls
by Jeffrey Blount
Evan Walls is terrified by the birth of his ﬁrst child because he doesn’t want her to suffer the isolation he had as a child. Seeing his torment, his wife, Izzy, prods him to explain. He tells of being a black child growing up in the racially charged 1960s. Inspired to overcome the racism and class status imposed on blacks, he dreams of a life bigger than that lived by most everyone he knows in the small Virginia town of Canaan. He is resented by friends and family for desiring a life better than theirs. Among the smartest in his class, Evan becomes a target of white kids threatened by the forced integration of their schools. Caught in a crossﬁre of hate from whites and his own people, who question whether he is black enough, Evan is often alone and bewildered. Only the love of his great grandmother, Mama Jennie, and his mentor, Bojack, keeps him on track. Together, they help Evan ﬁnd perspective and peace.
Paperback | 312 pages | Koehler Books | 2019
Jeffrey Blount is the award-winning author of three novels — Almost Snow White, winner of the 2013 USA Best Book Awards. Hating Heidi Foster, winner of the 2013 Readers Favorite Book Award for young adult literature. The Emancipation of Evan Walls, winner of the 2019 Readers Favorite Book Award, winner of the 2019 American Bookfest Best Book Award, and a Shelf Unbound 2019 Notable Book.
He is also an Emmy award-winning television director and a 2016 inductee to the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. During a 34-year career at NBC News, Jeffrey directed a decade of Meet The Press, The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, and major special events.
He was a contributor for HuffPost and has been published in The Washington Post, The Grio.com, and other publications, commenting on issues of race, social justice, and writing.
He is also an award-winning documentary scriptwriter for films and interactives that are now on display in the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture. the Newseum, America I AM: The African American Imprint at the National Constitution Center, The Museum at Bethel Woods, at the site of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, and others. These projects have won Cine Golden Eagle Awards, Muse Awards, and a Thea Award.
Born and raised in Smithfield, Virginia, he now lives in Washington, DC.