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Delta State’s Delta Center hosts Robertson Scholars

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The Delta State University Delta Center for Culture and Learning is hosting 11 Robertson Scholars from the University of North Carolina and Duke University this summer. 

 
The scholars are all involved in internships with social service providers in the Delta, but they also participate in a program of field trips and tours that help them understand the Delta’s rich cultural heritage. 
 
Lee Aylward of the Delta Center and ten of the Robertson Scholars recently visited Memphis, where they explored Beale Street, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, and Graceland. 

 

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Bluesman Fernando Jones to perform at Delta State

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The Delta State University Delta Center for Culture and Learning will present Chicago Bluesman Fernando Jones at 7 p.m., on Thursday, July 1, in the Recital Hall of the Bologna Performing Arts Center. The performance is free and open to the public.

 
Jones was the last student of the great songwriter Willie Dixon, from Vicksburg. He himself grew up on Chicago’s south side, but his parents are from Mississippi. Jones is a Bluesman, author, educator, songwriter and scholar who presently teaches the Blues at Columbia College in Chicago. He is visiting the Delta with 25 students and several fellow faculty members from Columbia. They are studying the Blues and its derivative forms.
 
While refuting the many negative stereotypes that haunt this music, Jones is on a mission to show its beauty through academic implementations, lectures, and concerts globally. As a result, Jones’ hands were photographed by National Geographic Magazine.
 
His book “I Was There When The Blues Was Red Hot” as been used as a resource by the likes of the Discovery Channel, the Chicago Tribune, Living Blues Magazine, London Times, and Al-Jazeera. Radio stations such as ABC, BBC, CBS, CLTV, NBC, WTTW, NPR and WGN have celebrated him for his playing style and unique perspective on the status of Black music in America.
 
For more information about this presentation or the Delta Center, call (662) 846-4311.

 

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Teachers in summer workshop at Delta State visit museum sites in Memphis

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Summer workshop participants at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis

 

 

The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University recently took 40 teachers to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. 

 
The teachers were enrolled in a summer workshop as part of the National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks in American History and Culture program. 
 
While in Memphis, the group also visited the Cotton Museum and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. 
 
The workshop is titled “The Most Southern Place on Earth: Music, History and Culture of the Mississippi Delta.” 
 

 

 

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Delta State holds humanities workshop at historic courthouse

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From  left: Little, Rice, Killinger, Jordan, Brown, Jaynes, and Outlaw

 

 

The Delta State University Delta Center for Culture and Learning held a special panel discussion in the Sumner Courthouse in Tallahatchie County for participants in its National Endowment for the Humanities Workshop. 

 
This historic courthouse was the scene of the murder trial of the killers of Emmett Till in August of 1955. The murder of 14 year old Emmett Till is widely viewed as being the spark that lit the fuse of the American Civil Rights Movement.
 
The panelists presented material on the case and its repercussions. Retired FBI agent Lent Rice talked about the original investigation of the murder by the FBI.  Agent Dale Killinger, who is now the unit chief of the Proactive Data Exploitation Unit of the Foreign Terrorist Tacking Taskforce, was formerly in charge of the most recent FBI investigation into the case. 
 
 Jerome Little is one of the two co-chairs of the Emmett Till Heritage Commission and is also the president of the Tallahatchie County Board of Supervisors. Dr. Henry Outlaw, formerly of the Delta Center, has conducted many oral history interviews with people involved in the case. Senator David Jordan has represented Leflore County in the State Legislature since 1993 and is also a member of the Greenwood City Council. He attended the trial of Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam. Jessie Jaynes is the public relations chair for the Emmett Till Heritage Commission. 
 
Luther Brown, director of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning, acted as moderator of the discussion. 

 

 

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Delta State holds summer heritage workshop for teachers

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Workshop participants in front of the Flood Museum in Greenville

 

 

Forty teachers from across the United States recently participated in a Delta heritage workshop entitled “The Most Southern Place on Earth: Music, History and Culture of the Mississippi Delta,” funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 
The workshop was presented by the Delta State University Delta Center for Culture and Learning, and was led by Center staff Luther Brown and Lee Aylward. 
 
Participants sampled Delta foods, visited local museums, and listened to the Blues as they traveled throughout the Delta visiting sites in Greenville, Greenwood, Clarksdale and Memphis, with stops in between where significant events occurred. 
 
They discussed issues involving civil rights and political leadership, immigrants’ experiences in the Delta, the Blues, the great migration, agriculture, religious heritage, and the Great Flood of 1927, among other things. 
 
All of the teachers who participate in the summer workshop will present lessons on the Delta’s heritage in their classrooms back home.