Why the Mississippi Delta Matters
An author and a journalist, W. Ralph Eubanks focuses in his work on race and culture in the American South. His most recent book is A Place Like Mississippi: A Journey through a Real and Imagined Literary Landscape (Timber Press, 2021). At Radcliffe, Eubanks is working on a new book that focuses on the history and people of the Mississippi Delta.
“Soon after I returned to Mississippi five years ago, a state politician commented to me that if Mississippi didn’t have the Delta, the state would rank 25th in the nation. I have never forgotten that comment. What I want to focus on is not that the Delta matters not just because of its contributions to American music and culture, since that is a story that is well known. What is not known is that for more than half a century the Delta has been working to transform itself, in spite of a narrative—both within Mississippi and outside its borders—that the place is not worth saving and its people have done nothing to save it. It is the story of the struggle toward transformation in the Delta that I seek to tell."
Randall L. Kennedy, Michael R. Klein Professor, Harvard Law School
The Julia S. Phelps Annual Lecture in the Arts and Humanities was established to honor the late Julia S. Phelps, a longtime instructor in the Radcliffe Seminars, and is supported by the generous contributions of her family, friends, and colleagues.
Radcliffe Fellow W. Ralph Eubanks Discusses the Mississippi Delta (Harvard Crimson, 2/16/22)