CLEVELAND, Miss. — The Delta Center for Culture and Learning (DCCL) recently hosted a free public screening of Promised Land: A Story about Mound Bayou at Delta State University in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Humanities’ (NEH) “Most Southern Place on Earth” workshop. Workshop participants were joined by Mound Bayou residents and other community members for tours of the area prior to the screening.
The workshop brings 72 K-12 educators from throughout the country to the Mississippi Delta in June and July. The educators are immersed in the region’s cultural heritage through place-based experiential learning. This included an afternoon visiting culturally significant sites in Mound Bayou including the Taborian Hospital, the I.T. Montgomery Home, and Peter’s Pottery.
“I enjoyed sharing insights about the past, present, and future of Mound Bayou with this group of enthusiastic educators,” said Dr. Eulah Peterson, former mayor of Mound Bayou. “As a retired educator, it is so vital for teachers to experience the history that they plan to teach their students.”
The screening began with an introduction from Dr. Rolando Herts, Director of the Delta Center for Culture & Learning and Executive Director of the Mississippi National Heritage Area. He said, “It was inspiring to see so many residents enjoying the film with our NEH Most Southern scholars. The Delta Center is dedicated to creating spaces where residents and visitors can come together to learn about Mississippi Delta heritage. This was a perfect opportunity.”
The film was created by Red Squared Productions of Jackson. Following the screening, a panel discussion sponsored by the Mississippi Humanities Council gave participants an opportunity to ask questions and talk about the day’s events. The panel included Hermon Johnson, Jr. of the Mound Bayou Museum, political scientist Dr. Matthew Holden, and former Mound Bayou Mayor Dr. Eulah Peterson.
“It was an honor to organize and moderate this distinguished panel,” said John Spann, Program & Outreach Officer at the Mississippi Humanities Council. “We are proud to support the community of Mound Bayou telling its story in collaboration with The Delta Center and the National Endowment for the Humanities.”
A second screening of Promised Land is planned for Wednesday, July 12, in honor of Mound Bayou’s 136th Founders’ Day. The event will take place at the Delta Health Center in Mound Bayou with support from the City of Mound Bayou, Mound Bayou Museum, Red Squared Productions, Mississippi Humanities Council, Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, and The Delta Center.
For more information, visit DCCL’s website at deltacenterdsu.com.