Freddi Williams Evans is an author, independent scholar and founder of www.congosquareconnection.org, an online collection that promotes the study of historic Congo Square. Her book Congo Square: African Roots in New Orleans, the first comprehensive study of the historic location, received the Louisiana Humanities Book of the Year Award and is published in French. Her research and advocacy influenced the New Orleans City Council Ordinance that changed the official name of the location from Beauregard Square, named after Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard in 1893, to the popular name Congo Square in 2011. Along with published essays, her presentations include those in France and Senegal sponsored by American Embassies in those locations. Other international engagements include the Bordeaux Congo Square Festival in Bordeaux, France and the 100 Years of Beat Festival in Berlin, Germany.
Evans is also the award-winning author of books for children including Come Sunday, A Young Reader’s History of Congo Square, for middle graders, which received the Bronze Medal Independent Publisher Book Award and was a finalist for Next Generation Indie Book Award. Working in the community, she co-chaired the New Orleans Committee to Erect Historic Markers on the Slave Trade to Louisiana, helped to erect the UNESCO Site of Memory Middle Passage Marker, and serves on the New Orleans Legacy Project Committee. Ashé Cultural Arts Center honored her as the Grand Griot of the Maafa Commemoration in 2019, and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities recognized her as “Humanities Hero” in 2017. Other honors include the New Orleans Arts Council Community Arts Award, the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame Award, and the Julia Purnell Humanitarian Award (Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.®, South Central Region.