Mari Evans, "remembered as a major figure in the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and '70s," died March 10, the Indianapolis Star reported. She was 93. In addition to being an accomplished poet, Evans was an essayist on American culture, a playwright, an educator and a local TV personality. She also wrote juvenile fiction. Her books include Continuum: New and Selected Poems; A Dark and Splendid Mass; Dear Corinne, Tell Somebody! Love, Annie: A Book about Secrets; Jim Flying High; I'm Late: The Story of Laneese & Moonlight; and Alisha Who Didn't Have Anyone of Her Own.
Evans was honored last year with the unveiling of a 30-foot mural by artist Michael "Alkemi" Jordan on Massachusetts Avenue in Indianapolis. Shauta Marsh, organizer of the mural project, said, "There's no one who can compare to her and replace her. I believe she has, to this day, continued to influence people.... I felt like she did more for me than I did for her."
Dan Carpenter, a writer and friend, observed that Evans "had this unwavering sense of African-American identity. She never stopped reminding people of their unique experiences--both the trials of African-Americans and their gifts, their resources and their contributions."