Freddi Williams Evans grew up among
extended family members in Madison, Mississippi. As a child and teenager, she
studied piano and traveled extensively in the U.S. with her family. At sixteen
years old, she continued her study of piano at Tougaloo College in Mississippi,
where she earned degrees in piano performance and psychology. While at Tougaloo,
Mrs. Evans participated in a West African study/travel during which she studied
the traditional music of Ghana.
After college, she studied at Hahnemann
University, in Philadelphia, and earned a master's degree in creative arts
therapy with an emphasis in music. After one year of employment in Philadelphia,
she married and relocated to New Orleans.
Growing up, Mrs. Evans frequently visited
older relatives who told her stories about their lives. Her writing grew out of
a desire to share those family stories as well as the untold and “under-told” stories of other African Americans. Her love for the arts, travels, and
experiences with children, including her own two children, also influence her
writing. She has traveled to Africa twice as a Fulbright Scholar (Zimbabwe in
1995 and South Africa in 2000) and to Europe (England, France, Italy) on an art
study/travel trip with her children. In 2004, she traveled to Japan with the
Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program.
As an artist, therapist, educator, and
administrator, Mrs. Evans has worked with children of all ages and
exceptionalities in various public and private settings. Her articles have
appeared in local newspapers and her poems appear in several anthologies,
including From a Bend in the River: 100 New Orleans Poets.
Mrs. Evans' acclaimed first book, A Bus
of Our Own, is about her family and hometown. Based on real events, this
inspirational story celebrates the coming together of a community to make life
better for children in the 1940s and 1950s. Recognition received for A Bus of
Our Own include: 2002 Notable Social Studies Trade Book; 2002 Oppenheim Toy
Portfolio Platinum Book Award; Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee (Association of
Indiana Media Educators); 2003 Living the Dream Book Award; 2004 Mississippi
Book Award (Mississippi Library Association).