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Evans Family Lineage - GRETA MILDRED EVANS

Greta Mildred Evans was born the daughter of the late elder John Louis Evans and her mother Amanda Jane Pleasant Smith in Sun, WV. She was the namesake of her grandmother, Momma Ida "Mildred" Evans as indicated by her middle name. Greta moved from Sun, WV with her mother to Roanoke, VA when she was a child.

She was a poet, dramatic artist, public speaker and playwright. She was "onstage" from as far back as she could remember. Her love for performing - both acting and singing - went back to high school days at Lucy Addison in Roanoke, VA. The exciting metropolis, New York City, became her second home after graduation as Valedictorian of her class. While attending Brooklyn College and City University of New York, Greta found her true heart's desire through study and performance as soprano soloist. Years later, while on her way to see what the west coast offered, she stopped in her hometown to visit friends and family. It was then that she changed her mind about going west and settled down to a new challenge as host and producer of a radio talk show. From that fledgling start she went on to create varied programs, including her long-running docu-drama series, All About Us. The critically-acclaimed program highlighted the exceptional lives of Black Heroes and Heroines, complete with voice re-enactment and taped music.

As dramatic artist, Greta would present one-woman programs of her stirring monologues from a repertoire numbering over 25 pieces. During performances, she sought not to entertain but rather raise the consciousness level of those who heard her. Deep pride in her heritage came forcefully through in the two plays she authored: "Makin' the Journey", which follows the agonizing path of enslaved Africans from the Motherland to America; and the other, Henry Street!, which tells of the cultural and professional center for Roanoke's Black citizens during segregation. This historically-based musical continues to draw sold-out crowds whenever it is presented.

Greta created a Learning Adventure for pre-teens called "Do African Children Like Candy, Too?" sponsored by Harrison Museum of African American Culture and funded by Virginia Commission for the Arts. A long-held dream was realized in 1990 when Greta visited Kenya. She chaired the Kisumu, Kenya Sister City Committee; and her penetrating look at the generational differences of Kenya's women has been published. Ms. Evans worked at WSLS-TV 10 as its Community Affairs Director. She was seen daily as host of the popular events calendar, Datebook; and on her monthly talk show "Reaching Out" which she hosted and produced.

As the station's representative, she served on committees and area boards, along with being a regular visitor at schools, churches, community and entertainment functions throughout Southwest Virginia. For service to the public good she received many honor citations and awards. She held affiliation with Roanoke Sister Cities, NAACP, Radio Reading Service, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Roanoke City Schools Mentor Program, Henry Street Music Center and Jazz Institute, Family Image Center, Harrison Museum and TAP's Business Development Project.

Greta held as her abiding motto: "I don't want to merely pass through this world; I want to make a measurable difference." 


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