Known as “The Most Southern Place On Earth,” the Delta is a lush expanse of fertile farmland tucked between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers in northwest Mississippi. Here, the sky swallows you whole and time drips like warm honey. Deep kinship and murder ballads weave into the rugged landscape like underground quilt codes. This is the underbelly, where history and pig fat commingle in a dark stew of long-winded stories and contradictions.
When my dear friend Alex told me that she grew up less than 3 hours away from the Delta, I had stars in my eyes. Aside from being the ground zero of Blues music, the Delta bespoke of an America that was at once remote and inaccessible as it was painfully ubiquitous to the American psyche. The immigrant in me wanted so badly to tap into the darker narratives of the deep South, what I considered to be the “source” of American identity in all its scarred glory.
Needless to say, when Alex offered to drive me down to the Delta I leapt at the opportunity. We took Highway 61 from Memphis, TN and drove 250 miles through vast cotton fields and kudzu-covered shacks to Clarksdale, MS, one of the better known towns in the Mississippi Delta. We spent three glorious days exploring the floodplains and sitting on the front porch of our homestead watching the sun go down over the swelling horizon. Thankfully, Alex also tolerated me taking a few snaps of her in the 5AM morning light on the day of our departure. Nothing like seeing a woman in her element, in her home state, in a vintage dress similar to her grandmother’s. Enjoy.