African Americans

Honoree:  Evelyn M. Freeman

Honoree Category:  African Americans

Evelyn Freeman, African American Honoree
Bio – Evelyn M. Freeman

In the 1950s, racial integration was debated, but not readily practiced. Demonstrations, tension and violence made national news, however segregation held strong throughout much of the country. People of color were simply not afforded the same opportunities in a predominately white society.

Though born, raised and educated in Sioux City, Evelyn Freeman refused to accept a segregated role. Against all odds, she obtained a degree and teaching credentials, becoming the first African-American teacher in the Sioux City Public Schools. Though beloved by her students, it wasn’t easy for Freeman to walk the school’s halls. She was breaking convention, opening doors of opportunity and acceptance for people of all backgrounds. Freeman bravely pushed aside apprehension and persevered.

Freeman’s courage to shatter establishment rules in the face of discrimination sparked acceptance for a culturally diverse society, opening housing, employment and educational opportunities beyond skin color. Her strength of character rings truth for all battles against inequality.

Additional Honorees for African Americans: