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Delta Ecology Research Conservancy

The Delta Ecology Research Conservancy Center (DERCC) provides members with special privileges, information and Archives related to the People, Ecology, Agriculture, Music, and Literary History of the Mississippi Delta.

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Civil Rights, The War & The Blues - The Honest History of American Democracy

  • Public
By Delta Ecology Research Conservancy 651 days ago

Categories: Education Research & Innovation, Social & Religious Empowerment

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Civil Rights, The War & The Blues
The Honest History of American Democracy
An Honest History Tour of The Mississippi Delta and its Influence on American History & Democracy
Harlington L. Hanna Jr.

Although it is proffered by many that the Modern Civil Rights Movement began in the Mississippi Delta with the Chronicle of Emmet Till in 1955, Honest History tells us a different Story. The true, initial, and official Civil Rights Movement began many years earlier in 1860 with The War of Emancipation for Black Americans, otherwise termed, The Civil War.

Interestingly, The Mississippi Delta also played a pivotal role in this initial and official war for the Civil Rights of Black Americans.

At the Time of the War of Emancipation for Black Americans, Mississippi was one of the wealthiest States in the Country based primarily on its Cotton crop and the enslaved Blacks who toiled the Cotton Fields particularly in The Mississippi Delta. Mississippi essentially financed the operations of the Civil War for the Confederate Government. Vicksburg was essentially the Capital of the Confederacy. Jefferson Davis former Mississippi Senator was the first and only President of the South and Government of the Confederate States of America. Helena Arkansas a Delta Town, was a Union stronghold, a refuge for thousands of freed slaves, and the training center and base of the first Black Regiments of the Union Military Forces.

The era of Reconstruction after the Civil War was designed to afford Black Americans the Right to Vote and a role in the governance of the reconstructed Union. The only two Black United States Senators during this period were both from the State of Mississippi.

The following excerpt from the Visit Mississippi Website is instructive. https://visitmississippi.org/things-to-do/history-culture/

'……African-American history in Mississippi is older than the state itself. The earliest African-Americans were brought here as slaves before statehood in 1817.

Less than a half-century after Mississippi was granted statehood, the nation erupted in Civil War. The war brought emancipation, and the slow road to civil rights began. In 1870, Hiram Revels of Natchez became the first African-American to serve in the United States Senate — even though African-Americans had not yet gained the right to vote and continued to live in a segregated society. Years later, Mississippians such as Ida B. Wells, Medgar Evers and James Meredith would help lead the charge to a more equal society.

Other African-Americans hailing from Mississippi would make major contributions to American culture. William Grant Still of Woodville, a prolific and respected classical composer, became the first African-American to conduct a major American symphony orchestra and the first to have a symphonic composition performed by a major orchestra. Richard Wright would become one of the leading writers of his generation, and later William Raspberry and Natasha Trethewey would win Pulitzer Prizes. The imprint that these and other African-American Mississippians have made on American history and culture continues to impact and enrich our lives today.

…….When Emmett Till was murdered in 1955, the people of Mississippi found themselves at the forefront of one of the most pivotal periods of American history. This tragic event is widely considered the igniting spark of the modern Civil Rights movement. While the death of Emmett Till made national headlines, it was not the only event to set the scene for this great struggle. Only months before Till’s death, Reverend George Lee of Belzoni was assassinated after registering to vote. Other events in Mississippi, from the murder of Medgar Evers in 1963 to the killing of the three Civil Rights workers in Neshoba County the following year, rallied those involved with the Civil Rights movement and brought more people to the cause. Half a century later, Mississippi is the embodiment of changing times. Today, Mississippi has more elected African-American officials than any other state in the country, as the civil rights movement continues as a strong element of political, social and daily life.

…….In a sense, the history of Mississippi is the history of America. It begins in prehistoric times, when vast herds of buffalo trampled and “traced” out a route known as the Natchez Trace. This same path would later be traveled by Native Americans, traders, missionaries, and early pioneers. Chickasaw and Choctaw, Scotch and Irish, slaves, and settlers have all called Mississippi home. Mississippi grew up with our nation. When the Mississippi Territory became the 20th state to join the union in 1817, it was comprised largely of the Chickasaw and Choctaw nations. With statehood came an influx of Europeans – largely English, Scottish, and Irish – who sought opportunity in what was then the frontier of a rapidly growing country. The Magnolia State continued to leave its imprint on America, 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. Today, Mississippi is regarded as a unique and rich intersection of history, architecture, commerce, culture, and the arts.'

The Culture of the Mississippi Delta also played a pivotal role in the War for the Civil Rights of Black Americans. This culture as we know it today is rooted in the Area’s role as the Birthplace of American Music. The Blues, Country Music, Rock & Roll and Gospel all have their roots in Mississippi. Blues Music in particular is uniquely a Civil Rights phenomena and a critical element in the progress and impact of Black Americans on the Culture, History and Economy of the United States and The World.

The State of Mississippi has consolidated and documented the contributions and important artifacts of its music, literary, and civil rights chronicles and legends in Official Trails, Tours and Festivals throughout the State, facilitating the presentation and touring of these sites for visitors, tourists and researchers. Millions of people visit Mississippi annually for these purposes.

Civil Rights, The War & The Blues is an Honest History Tour, and an important part of telling The Honest History of The Mississippi Delta, The United States, and The World. 

Delta Ecology Research Conservancy

Delta Ecology Research Conservancy

The Delta Ecology Research Conservancy Center (DERCC) provides members with special privileges, information and Archives related to the People, Ecology, Agriculture, Music, and Literary History of the Mississippi Delta.

Preserving Delta CHHAARM (Culture, History, Health, Agriculture, Arts, Rights, & Music)
The Delta Ecology Research Conservancy (DERC) is a Not for Profit organization dedicated to the Study,...


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