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Encyclopedia > Mississippi Delta
The shared flood plain of the Yazoo and Mississippi Rivers
The shared flood plain of the Yazoo and Mississippi Rivers

The Mississippi Delta is the distinct northwest section of the state of Mississippi that lies between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers. Technically not a delta but part of an alluvial plain, it has been said that The Delta "begins in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel (in Memphis) and ends on Catfish Row in Vicksburg" (various writers have been attributed with composing this memorable line, but often David Cohn is credited with the saying.[citation needed]) This region, created by regular flooding over thousands of years, is remarkably flat and contains some of the most fertile soil in the world. It includes the following; Washington, DeSoto, Humphreys, Carroll, Issaquena, Panola, Quitman, Bolivar, Coahoma, Leflore, Sunflower, Sharkey, Tunica, Tallahatchie, Holmes, Yazoo, and Warren counties. Mississippi Delta may refer to: Mississippi Delta, a distinct cultural area in northwest Mississippi state. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (936x1229, 205 KB)Also see here for an annotated image found on this NPR story. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (936x1229, 205 KB)Also see here for an annotated image found on this NPR story. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Floodplain. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... For the river in Canada, see Mississippi River (Ontario). ... hTe Yazoo River is a river in the U.S. state of Mississippi and the second longest tributary of the Mississippi River that flows into that river from the east (the longest is the Ohio River). ... Nile River delta, as seen from Earth orbit. ... An alluvial plain is a relatively flat and gently sloping landform found at the base of a range of hills. ... Inside the Peabody The Peabody Hotel is a famous hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. ... For other uses, see Memphis (disambiguation). ... The historic Mississippi River Commission Building in Vicksburg, constructed in 1894 Vicksburg is a city in Warren County, Mississippi. ... Washington County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. ... DeSoto County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. ... Humphreys County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. ... Carroll County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. ... Issaquena County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. ... Panola County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. ... Quitman County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. ... Bolivar County is a county located in the Mississippi Delta region of the U.S. state of Mississippi. ... Coahoma County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. ... Leflore County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. ... Sunflower County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. ... Sharkey County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. ... Tunica County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. ... Tallahatchie County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. ... Holmes County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. ... Yazoo County is a county located in the Mississippi Delta region of the U.S. state of Mississippi. ... Warren County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. ...


The river delta around the mouth of the Mississippi lies some 300 miles south of this area, and is referred to as the Mississippi River Delta. False-color image of the larger Mississippi Delta Closeup of the currently active delta front Mississippi Delta Lobes The Mississippi River Delta is the modern area of land (the river delta) built up by alluvium deposited by the Mississippi River as it slows down and enters the Gulf of Mexico. ...

Contents

Music

The Delta is strongly associated with the origins of several genres of popular music, including the Delta blues, jazz, and rock and roll, as well as with extreme levels of poverty [1] [2] [3]. Delta blues are named for the Mississippi Delta. ... For other uses, see Jazz (disambiguation). ... Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ...


Agriculture and the Delta economy

Plantations

For over two centuries, agriculture has been the mainstay of the Delta economy. Sugar cane and rice were introduced to the region from the Caribbean in the 18th century. Sugar production was centered in southern Louisiana, along with rice, and later in the Arkansas Delta. Early agriculture also included limited tobacco production in the Natchez area and indigo in the lower Mississippi. What began as back bending land clearing by yeoman farmers supported by their extensive families quickly developed into a labor intensive plantation system based initially on Native American, and later on African slave labor in the 18th century. Species Ref: ITIS 42058 as of 2004-05-05 Sugarcane is one of six species of a tall tropical southeast Asian grass (Family Poaceae) having stout fibrous jointed stalks whose sap at one time was the primary source of sugar. ... For other uses, see Rice (disambiguation). ... West Indies redirects here. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... Shredded tobacco leaf for pipe smoking Tobacco can also be pressed into plugs and sliced into flakes Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. ... Melrose, an antebellum home in Natchez, Mississippi. ... Categories: Faboideae | Plant stubs ... This article is about the people indigenous to the United States. ...


The emergence of the cotton gin revolutionized the production of cotton, and by the early 19th century cotton had become the Delta’s premier crop, and would remain so until the American Civil War. Though cotton planters believed that the alluvial soils of the Mississippi Delta region would always renew, the agricultural boom from the 1830s to the late 1850s caused extensive soil exhaustion and erosion. Yet, lacking agricultural research, planters continued to raise cotton the same way after the Civil War. A cotton gin on display at the Eli Whitney Museum. ... For other uses, see Cotton (disambiguation). ... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action, 258,000 total... For other uses, see Cotton (disambiguation). ...


Following the Civil War, sharecropping and tenant farming replaced the slave-dependent, labor intensive plantation system. This labor system inhibited the use of progressive agricultural techniques. In the late 19th century, the clearing and drainage of wetlands, especially in Arkansas and the Missouri Bootheel, increased lands available for tenant farming and sharecropping. Lower Delta agriculture evolved during the 20th century into large farms owned by nonresident corporate entities. These heavily mechanized, low labor, and capital-intensive farm entities, consisting of hundreds and thousands of acres, produce market-driven crops such as cotton, sugar, rice, and soybeans. Chopping cotton on rented land near White Plains, Greene County, Ga. ... A tenant farmer is one who resides on and farms land owned by a landlord. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... This article is about the southeastern corner of the U.S. state of Missouri; the term Bootheel is also used to refer to the southwestern part of Hidalgo County, New Mexico. ... Binomial name Glycine max Soybeans (US) or soya beans (UK) (Glycine max) are a high-protein legume (Family Fabaceae) grown as food for both humans and livestock. ...


Mechanization

During the 1920s and 1930s, in the aftermath of the increasing mechanization of Delta farms, displaced whites and African-Americans began to leave the land and move to towns and cities. It was not until the Great Depression years of the 1930s that large scale farm mechanization came to the region, but farm mechanization did not occur overnight in the Delta. The mechanization of agriculture and the availability of domestic work outside the Delta spurred the migration of Delta residents out of the region. Farming was unable to absorb the available labor force and entire families moved together. Languages Predominantly American English Religions Predominantly Christianity and Islam Related ethnic groups Sub-Saharan Africans and other African groups, some with Native American groups. ... For other uses, see The Great Depression (disambiguation). ... Mechanization is the use of machines to replace manual labour or animals and can also refer to the use of powered machinery to help a human operator in some task. ...


From the late 1930s through the 1950s, the Delta experienced an agriculture boom, as wartime needs followed by reconstruction in Europe expanded the demand for the Delta region’s farm products. As the mechanization of agriculture continued, women continued to leave the fields and go into service work, while the men drove tractors and worked on the farms. From the 1960s through the 1990s, thousands of small farms and dwellings in the Delta region were absorbed by large corporate-owned agribusinesses, and the smallest Delta communities have stagnated. In agriculture, agribusiness is a generic term that refers to the various businesses involved in the food production chain, including farming, seed, agrichemicals, farm machinery, wholesaling, processing, distribution, and retail sales. ...


Diversification

Remnants of the region’s agrarian heritage are scattered along the highways and byways of the lower Delta. Larger communities have survived by fostering economic development in education, government, and medicine. Other endeavors such as catfish, poultry, rice, corn, and soybean farming have assumed greater importance. Today, the monetary value of these crops rivals that of cotton production in the lower Mississippi Delta. Agrarian has two meanings: It can mean pertaining to Agriculture It can also refer to the ideology of Agrarianism and Agrarian parties. ... Economic development is the development of economic wealth of countries or regions for the well-being of their inhabitants. ... For the chemical substances known as medicines, see medication. ... This article is about the siluriform catfishes; for the Atlantic catfish, see Seawolf (fish); for other uses, see Catfish (disambiguation). ... Ducks amongst other poultry The Poultry-dealer, after Cesare Vecellio Poultry is the category of domesticated birds kept for meat, eggs, and feathers. ... This article is about the maize plant. ...


In recent years, due to the growth of the automobile industry in the South, many parts suppliers have opened facilities in the Delta (as well as on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River, another area of high poverty). Moreover, the 1990s legalization of casino gambling in Mississippi has boosted the Delta's economy, particularly in the areas of Tunica and Vicksburg. Car redirects here. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Gamble redirects here. ...


A large cultural influence in the region is its history of hunting and fishing. Hunting in the Delta is primarily made up of Whitetail Deer, Wild Turkey, and waterfowl, along with many small game species (squirrel, rabbit, dove, quail, racoon, etc.) For many years and even today hunting and fishing has been a major economic engine for this region.[citation needed]


Principal towns

Batesville is a city in Panola County, Mississippi, United States. ... Belzoni is a city located in Humphreys County, Mississippi, in the Mississippi Delta region. ... Clarksdale is a city in Coahoma County, Mississippi, United States. ... Cleveland is a city in Bolivar County, Mississippi, United States. ... Greenville is a city located in Washington County, Mississippi. ... Greenwood is situated in Leflore County, Mississippi at the eastern edge of the Mississippi Delta, approximately 96 miles north of Jackson, Mississippi, and 130 miles south of Memphis, Tennessee. ... Indianola is a city in Sunflower County, Mississippi, United States. ... Marks is a city located in Quitman County, Mississippi. ... Tunica is a town in Tunica County, Mississippi, United States, located near the Mississippi River. ... Yazoo City is a city in Yazoo County, Mississippi, United States. ...

Famous Deltans

Musicians

Mose John Allison, Jr. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Bobbie Gentry (b. ... John Lee Hooker (August 22, 1917 – June 21, 2001) was an influential American post-war blues singer, guitarist, and songwriter born in Coahoma County near Clarksdale, Mississippi. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Mississippi John Smith Hurt (March 8, 1892 , Teoc, Carroll County, Mississippi - November 2, 1966, Grenada, Mississippi) was an influential blues singer and guitarist. ... Nehemiah Curtis Skip James (June 21, 1902 – October 3, 1969) was an American blues singer, guitarist, pianist and songwriter. ... Robert Johnson, born Robert Leroy Johnson (May 8, 1911 – August 16, 1938) is among the most famous of Delta blues musicians. ... Charlie Patton, better known as Charley Patton (May 1, 1891 - April 28, 1934) is best known as an American Delta blues musician. ... Ike Turner (born Ike Wister Turner, November 5, 1931 – December 12, 2007) was an two-time Grammy Award-winning American musician, bandleader, talent scout, and record producer, best known for his work with his then wife Tina Turner as one half of the Ike & Tina Turner duo. ... McKinley Morganfield (April 4, 1915 – April 30, 1983), better known as Muddy Waters, was an American blues musician and is generally considered the Father of Chicago blues. He is also the actual father of blues musician Big Bill Morganfield. ... Riley B. King aka B. B. King (b. ... Jimmie Rodgers was the name of two singers: Jimmie Rodgers (country singer) Jimmie Rodgers (pop singer) Jimmie Rodgers (SPC Deputy Director General) Note that there was also a Jimmy Rogers (note the spelling), a blues singer born in 1924. ... Henry Sloan was one of the earliest known blues musicians. ... Bukka White album cover Booker T. Washington Bukka White (November 12, 1906– February 26, 1977) was a delta blues guitarist and singer born near Houston, Mississippi. ... Chester Arthur Burnett (June 10, 1910 – January 10, 1976), better known as Howlin Wolf or sometimes, The Howlin Wolf, was an influential blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player. ...

Others

Haley Reeves Barbour (born October 22, 1947) is the current Republican governor of Mississippi. ... This article is about Hodding Carter II, the journlalist. ... Dave Meadows (Boo) Ferriss (born December 5, 1921) is a former pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. ... Shelby Dade Foote, Jr. ... For the Dawsons Creek director, see Morgan J. Freeman. ... // James Thomas Jim Gallagher, Jr. ... Lawrence Gordon (born March 25, 1936 in Yazoo City, Mississippi) is an American producer and motion picture executive. ... James Maury Jim Henson (September 24, 1936 – May 16, 1990), was the most widely known puppeteer in American television history. ... Kent Hull (born January 13, 1960) is a former offensive lineman in the National Football League and United States Football League. ... James Earl Jones (born January 17, 1931) is an American Academy Award-nominated, Emmy- and Tony Award-winning actor of film and stage well known for his deep basso voice. ... Archie Elisha Manning (born May 19, 1949 in Drew, Mississippi) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League. ... William Weaks Willie Morris (November 29, 1934 — August 2, 1999), was an American writer and editor born in Jackson, Mississippi, though his family later moved to Yazoo City, Mississippi, which he immortalized in his works of prose. ... United States Senator from Mississippi from 1911 to 1913, LeRoy Percy (November 9, 1860 – December 24, 1929) was a wealthy planter from Greenville, Mississippi in the heart of the Delta. ... William Alexander Percy (1885-1942) is a poet from Greenville, Mississippi. ... Walker Percy (May 28, 1916 – May 10, 1990) was an American Southern author whose interests included philosophy and semiotics. ... Fred W. Smith (born August 11, 1944) is the founder of Federal Express, or FedEx, the first overnight express delivery company in the world, and the largest in the United States. ... Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the job of having the ultimate executive responsibility or authority within an organization or corporation. ... Federal Express redirects here. ... Emmett Louis Bobo Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was a fourteen year old African-American from Chicago, Illinois who was brutally murdered [1] in Money, Mississippi, a small town in the states Delta region. ... Thomas Lanier Williams III (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983), better known as Tennessee Williams, was a major American playwright who received many of the top theatrical awards. ... Hilary Hinton “Zig” Ziglar (born November 6, 1926) is an American author, salesperson, and motivational speaker. ...

Festivals

Festivals are important to the Mississippi Delta region, allowing each town or community the opportunity to celebrate their unique heritage. Following is a list of various festivals in the Delta:

March
  • Italian Festival of Mississippi (Cleveland)
April
  • Rivergate Festival (Tunica)
  • World Catfish Festival (Belzoni)
  • Leland Crawfish Festival (Leland)
  • Crosstie Arts & Jazz Festival (Cleveland)
  • Juke Joint Festival (Clarksdale)
May
  • Deep Delta Festival (Rolling Fork)
  • River to the Rails Festival (Greenwood)
  • Mainstream Arts & Crafts Festival (Greenville)
  • Summerfest (Hollandale)
  • Showfest (Greenville)
June
  • B.B. King Homecoming Festival (Indianola)
  • Highway 61 Blues Festival (Leland)
  • Delta Jubilee (Clarksdale)
July
  • First Friday Jazz Festival (Greenville)
August
  • Sunflower River Blues Festival (Clarksdale)
September
  • Delta Air and Balloon Festival (Greenville)
  • Mississippi Delta Blues and Heritage Festival
October
  • Great Delta Bear Affair [4]
  • Octoberfest (Cleveland)
November
  • Electroacoustic Juke Joint (Cleveland) [5]
December
  • Roy Martin Delta Band Festival (Greenwood)

Education

Universities

Delta State University is a regional public university located in Cleveland, Mississippi, in the heart of the Mississippi Delta; one of eight publicly funded universities in the state. ... Mississippi Valley State University is a historically black university located in Itta Bena, Mississippi. ...

Community Colleges

Mississippi Delta Community College is a community college in Moorhead, Mississippi. ...

Media and publishing

Newspapers, Magazines and Journals

  • Belzoni Banner (published weekly) ([10])
  • Delta Magazine (published bi-monthly) ([11])
  • Delta Business Journal (published monthly) ([12])
  • Clarksdale Press Register (published daily) ([13])
  • Cleveland Bolivar Commercial (published daily) ([14])
  • Greenville Delta Democrat Times (published daily) ([15])
  • Greenwood Commonwealth (published daily) ([16])
  • The Tunica Times (published weekly) ([17])

Television

  • WABG (Greenwood)
  • WXVT (Greenville)

Northern Delta served by Memphis TV Stations.


Transportation

Air Transportation

  • Tunica Municipal Airport (Tunica) ([18])
  • Mid Delta Regional Airport (Greenville)
  • Greenwood-Leflore Airport (Greenwood)
  • Cleveland Municipal Airport (Cleveland)
  • Indianola Municipal Airport (Indianola)
  • Yazoo County Airport (Yazoo City)
  • Fletcher Field Airport (Clarksdale)

Highways Tunica Municipal Airport (IATA: UTA, ICAO: KUTA) is a public airport serving the town of Tunica, Mississippi, serving Tunica County and the surrounding region. ... Mid Delta Regional Airport (IATA: GLH, ICAO: KGLH) is a public airport located five miles (8 km) northeast of the city of Greenville in Washington County, Mississippi, USA. The airport has two runways. ...

  • U.S. Route 82 runs from Alamogordo, New Mexico to Brunswick, Georgia
  • U.S. Route 49 runs from Piggott, Arkansas to Gulfport, Mississippi
  • U.S. Route 61 runs from Wyoming, Minnesota to New Orleans, Louisiana

U.S. Highway 82 is an east-west United States highway. ... US 49 is a north-south United States highway. ... U.S. Route 61 is the official designation for a United States highway that runs 1,400 miles from New Orleans, Louisiana, to the city of Wyoming, Minnesota. ...

Appearance in culture

  • The Mississippi Delta is the setting for several stories by William Faulkner, most notably The Bear from Go Down, Moses.
  • The Paul Simon song "Graceland", from an album of the same name, memorably begins with the line "The Mississippi Delta was shining like a National guitar."
  • Crossroads starring Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid) is a movie that is loosely based on bluesman Robert Johnson.
  • Down in the Delta was a 1998 film directed by Maya Angelou and starring Alfre Woodard about a woman from the city who moves with her children to the rural Delta.
  • My Dog Skip is set in Yazoo City in both the book and the movie was filmed there.
  • Several scenes from O, Brother, Where Art Thou? are set in the Delta, and the film was partially shot in Yazoo City. The film even mentions small Delta towns Itta Bena and Satartia by name, not to mention "The Crossroads".

William Cuthbert Faulkner (born William Falkner), (September 25, 1897–July 6, 1962) was an American author. ... Go Down, Moses is an episodic novel, by William Faulkner, consisting of seven short stories. ... Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, half of the folk-singing duo Simon and Garfunkel who continues a successful solo career. ... Graceland is an album released in 1986 by Paul Simon. ... Crossroads is a 1986 cult film inspired by the legend of Robert Johnson. ... This article is about the actor. ... The Karate Kid is a 1984 John G. Avildsen film starring Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita. ... Robert Johnson, born Robert Leroy Johnson (May 8, 1911 – August 16, 1938) is among the most famous of Delta blues musicians. ... Down in the Delta is a 1998 drama directed by Maya Angelou. ... Maya Angelou (IPA: [1]), born Marguerite Ann Johnson, April 4, 1928 in St. ... Alfre Ette Woodard (born November 8, 1952) is an American actress. ... My Dog Skip is a 2000 movie, directed by Jay Russell. ...

Sources

The National Park Service (NPS) is the United States federal agency that manages all National Parks, many National Monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Mississippi Delta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1014 words)
The Mississippi Delta is the distinct northwest section of the state of Mississippi that lies between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers.
Technically not a delta but part of an alluvial plain, it has been said that The Delta "begins in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel (in Memphis) and ends on Catfish Row in Vicksburg" (various writers have been attributed with composing this memorable line, but most often David Cohen is credited with the saying).
The Delta is strongly associated with the origins of several genres of popular music, including the Delta blues, jazz, and rock and roll, as well as with extreme levels of poverty [1] [2] [3].
Mississippi River Delta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (875 words)
The Mississippi River Delta is the modern area of land (the river delta) built up by alluvium deposited by the Mississippi River as it slows down and enters the Gulf of Mexico.
Each Mississippi River deltaic cycle was initiated by a gradual capture of the Mississippi River by a distributary which offered a shorter and steeper route to the Gulf of Mexico.
Because there is a considerable amount of economic development along the current path of the Mississippi, and because extensive flooding and evacuation would occur in the new area, Congress instructed the Army Corps of Engineers to maintain the then-present 70% / 30% distribution of water between the Lower Mississippi and the Atchafalaya River channels respectively.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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