Michael was mostly known on the show as a young activist who wanted equal rights for all black people. He was known as the smart preadolescent young man of the Evans family. He was called the "Militant Midget" by his father James because of his activism.
Michael Evans was born in 1963 to James and Florida Evans in Chicago. He had 2 older siblings, J.J. and Thelma. They all lived in an apartment a few months after Michael was born, but they soon moved to the projects. In real life, Ralph Carter (born in 1961) was 13 when the series ended its first season in the spring of 1974, and in 1979 was 18 years old.
As a young child, Michael was involved in many political protests. His parents and siblings were worried that they would get a visit from the F.B.I. sooner or later, which happened when Michael wrote a letter to the Cuban embassy for information for a school assignment. Fortunately, Michael generally stayed out of serious trouble.
Between the second and third seasons, Michael began to mature and didn't get into trouble protesting. Instead, he showed more interest for school and girls. After his father died, Michael didn't want to move with his family to Mississippi because he was in love with a girl. His next-door neighbor, Willona Woods, because of his wisdom, calls him "gramps" on occasion.
In the sixth season, Michael attended college. During the series finale, he decided to move into a campus dormitory.