“Feeling” The Mississippi Delta

“Feeling” The Mississippi Delta

The Magnolia State continues to leave its imprint on America, first by playing a pivotal role in the Civil War and later serving as the setting for some of the landmark events in the struggle for Civil Rights.

Mississippi is regarded as a unique and rich intersection of history, architecture, commerce, culture, and the arts. Rich in soil, music and culture, the Mississippi Delta is one of those unique regions that has come to hold a special place in the American imagination. But in terms of economic mobility and poverty, this stretch of land is far behind anywhere else in the developed world.

I just spent a few weeks traveling through the backroads of the Mississippi Delta. I’d never been in this part of the US with my camera before. I expected to find poverty, both in the black and white communities, but I was surprised to see so much despair: the lack of unemployment (70%), the lack of school funding, the lack of decent health care, and the lack of hope for a better future!

I could not stop thinking – IS THIS THE U.S.?

All the people I spoke to were open and engaging and deserving of a better life. Their faces were full of waiting and frustration.

When will change come? What can we do to make lives better for so many in the US?

I left the Delta haunted by all I witnessed.

Man hugging dog

Tattooed man with woman near by

Rotting windows with tattered curtains

Youth lounging on overstuffed sofa on porch

Youth holding young child

Store front reads Club Remix Hip Hop R & B Blues

Three young black men sitting on sidewalk

Elderly person sitting at table with loaf of bread

Three young white men sitting on various items

Two people examining dog's ear

6 comments

  1. Michele
    Your photos document what is going on in our own country and it is
    haunting. You have captured through your eye of the camera what we all need to truly see. I have watched documentries on the Mississippi Delta however your photos tell a deeper story. Thank you Michele, for using your talent to bring awareness of the great despair going on in our own country. You truly are a great narrator through your eye.

  2. I have so enjoyed seeing the images from this series that you have shared on Instagram.
    Very moving and illustrating a part of this country that most never see. Each of the images makes it clear that you developed a great connection with the subjects.
    Really exquisite work on such an important subject. Thank you for all your work.

  3. These haunting images invite an empathy that resides beyond the intellect. It clears the pathway to the soul, deconstructing the illusion of the other. We are informed by your images that, inarguable, we belong to each other.

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