Eboni Freeman.
Eboni Freeman.

UMich Alum Leads as TV Writer, Finishes Run on Acclaimed "This Is Us"

Summer 2022 | National

University of Michigan Posse graduate Eboni Freeman has spent the past four years as a writer on the celebrated NBC show “This is Us.” Eboni began her career in entertainment as a producer for FOX Sports, where she won an Emmy for her work on the 2015 Women’s World Cup. She later pivoted to writing, drawing on her personal, lived experiences to craft compelling stories for large audiences.

Eboni grew up on both the east and west coasts of the United States, splitting her formative years between Chester, Pennsylvania, and Inglewood, California. Her family eventually settled in Los Angeles, where Eboni attended junior high school. There she discovered a talent for performance as a dance student and as a member of her school’s speech and debate teams.

“I am grateful for that experience at Michigan, and that was all because of Posse.”

In high school, Eboni continued to excel in dance and even considered a future as a professional dancer. A guidance counselor helped broaden her horizons by nominating her for the Posse Scholarship, resulting in her admission to the University of Michigan.

“I am grateful for that experience at Michigan, and that was all because of Posse,” Eboni says, acknowledging that she might not have left California otherwise. “I learned so much going away to school, going to Michigan—so much besides the book learning. In college, you receive an education about life and growing up in all the people that you meet.”

As an undergraduate, Eboni initially explored physical therapy in the School of Kinesiology before concentrating on sports management and communications. It was towards the end of her studies that an experience as an intern at FX—a position she found through the Posse Career Program—struck a new spark, inspiring her to pursue creative writing.

“When I first read a script that summer at FX, it was almost like a lightbulb went off,” Eboni recalls. “I remember I went on Amazon and I ordered a book called ‘How to Write a Screenplay.’ And I read the book. And I wrote my first screenplay.”

“As a storyteller, I am very much rooted in my experience. That’s my superpower.”

Years later, well into a successful career in production at FOX Sports, Eboni was accepted into the elite Sundance Screenwriters Lab, giving her the opportunity to hone her craft and be seen by top agents. Two years after her experience at Sundance, Eboni was offered a seat at the writers table of “This is Us.”

“When I became a writer, at the time I thought that what I needed to do was write a script that was universal,” Eboni says, reflecting on her path to her dream job. “But it wasn’t until I wrote a story about Black women, rooted in my experience as a Black woman—that’s what got me noticed. On the show, obviously, I write for all different kinds of characters. But as a storyteller, I am very much rooted in my experience. That’s my superpower.”

While “This is Us” concluded its successful television run this spring after an acclaimed six seasons, Eboni has bright options ahead.

“I’ve just been incredibly blessed to have had this experience,” she says. “Coming off this show, I still have my own ambitions to create, and that’s what motivates me. I look forward to working more in TV and film.”

To others interested in a creative career, Eboni offers, “Mine from your experiences, as a writer, because that is what’s going to make you stand out. Don’t be afraid to be your authentic self.”