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Ilene Evans
Sept. 8, 2001 Heritage Days Program

Of her passage over the Maryland state line to freedom, Harriet Tubman told a biographer: "When I found I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything."

That "glory" shines from the eyes of singer-storyteller Ilene Evans as the portrays the escaping slave in her program "General Moses: Stories from the Life of Harriet Tubman." Evans, accompanied by blues singer and guitarist, Richard Smith, acted out Tubman's life during Hampshire Heritage Days.

"Freedom is something today that we take for granted," Ilene Evans says. "It's almost impossible to understand Harriet's siuation. We don't have auction blocks. We don't experience that kind of powerlessness." Still, she notes, "We yearn for freedom because we have a need to express ourselves. Each human being is unique and needs to pursue their unique gifts and callings. Whenever we don't listen to that calling, we give away our freedom."

Ilene Evans  

Ilene Evans has been telling her stories through words, music and dance for 25 years, first in the Chicago area and now in Tucker County, West Virginia. Her African, Celtic and Native American heritage enriches her work. She has been teaching, singing, storytelling, choreographing and performing in schools , camps and community groups. She has appeared at, among other places, at the West Virginia Library Association, West Virginia Storytelling Festival, Mountaineer Week at WVU, Augusta Festival Blues Week, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Whirlwind Performance Company of Chicago.

 

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