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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. 

 

 

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Delta State hosts ‛Catfish on the Quad’

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Teach For America participants enjoy an evening of fun, food, and entertainment on the Delta State University Quadrangle.

 

 

Teach For America (TFA) participants got a taste of Delta hospitality on Friday, June 18, as they were treated to “Catfish on the Quad” on the Delta State University Quadrangle.

 
Approximately 800 participants were joined by members of the community and Delta State faculty and staff for an evening of fun, food, and entertainment. Participants were treated to a dinner of southern fried catfish, and musical entertainment provided by local R&B band The Pearl Street Jumpers.
 
High evening temperatures proved no deterrent as TFA members participated in numerous activities including three-way volleyball, a rock-climbing wall, jumbo basketball, sidewalk bowling, and much more, before dancing well into the evening.
 
“It was wonderful to see the Teach For America members together with members of the campus and community for an evening of fun and fellowship,” said Dr. Michelle Roberts, vice president for University Relations at Delta State. “I have been at Delta State for over 20 years and I can’t recall the Quad being so full of people and activities. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time, despite the high temperatures. For many, this was their first taste of fried catfish and hushpuppies. Based on their positive comments, it won’t be their last.”
 
“Catfish on the Quad” concluded the first week of Teach For America’s Delta Institute, the first TFA training institute in a rural location. Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and Phoenix are the other Teach For America institute locations.
 
About Teach For America
Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates who commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity. This fall, more than 8,200 corps members will be teaching in 39 regions across the country, while more than 20,000 Teach For America alumni continue working from inside and outside the field of education for the fundamental changes necessary to ensure educational excellence and equity. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org.   

 

 

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Teach For America members take heritage tour of the Delta

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The Delta State University Delta Center for Culture and Learning recently presented a heritage tour to 110 Teach for America members who are participating in the Delta training Institute being held on the Delta State campus.

 
The group participated in a day-long tour that included stops in Cleveland, Dockery, Ruleville, and Mound Bayou, along with Po’ Monkey’s Lounge.

 

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Delta State takes students from Columbus High School on heritage tour of the Delta

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Columbus High School‘s accelerated and advanced placement program recently visited the Mississippi Delta to learn about its rich cultural heritage. 
 
The Delta State University Delta Center for Culture and Learning introduced the group to the Delta State campus and escorted them to Dockery Farms, the birthplace of the Blues; the grave of Civil Rights activist Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer; and the historic African American town of Mound Bayou. 
 
Gayle Fortenberry third from right, back row, advance placement coordinator, arranged the trip.  Dr. Luther Brown and Lee Aylward of the Delta Center, kneeling, conducted the tour.