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June 18 Seminar Will Celebrate People, History, and Culture of the Delta University News
For release: May 1, 2009

For press information, contact Tom Mendina, 901-678-4310

The fourth annual seminar celebrating the Mississippi Delta, its history, culture, and people will be held Thursday, June 18, at the University of Memphis. “The Delta – Everything Southern!” will run from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Fogelman Executive Conference Center on the U of M campus. The seminar will feature distinguished speakers, images and music in seven presentations by Delta experts.

Bill Luckett, a Memphis attorney and entrepreneur from Clarksdale, Miss., will discuss the resurgence of interest in music, food and businesses of the Delta. Forest archaeologist Sam Brookes will explore events during the time of Native Americans in the Delta, covering a time span of more than 7,500 years. Journalist Curtis Wilkie will relate how Hodding Carter created the Delta Democrat-Times newspaper in Greenville, Miss., and battled the conservative political establishment for three decades.

Filmmaker and author Willy Bearden will journey through the Delta as he produces a two-hour documentary on the Delta “beyond the Blues.” Blues pianist and vocalist Eden Brent will showcase the music of the Delta, from the boogie-woogie blues to today’s music. Owen Brooks, an oral historian for both the Smith-Robertson Museum and Cultural Center and the Margaret Walker Alexander National Research Center, will recall his fight to improve the educational, economic and political situation for African-Americans in the Delta. Dr. Carol Crown, professor of art history at the U of M, will examine the art of the Delta’s most famous self-taught artists.

Following the day’s presentations, there will be a panel discussion with the speakers.

Registration includes lunch, break fare, and parking in the adjacent Innovation Drive garage. The cost is $65 through June 1 and $75 thereafter. The symposium is sponsored by the Friends of the University Libraries.

For more information, contact Dr. Nicholas Gotten, event chairman, at 901-682-9955 or, Tom Mendina at 901-678-4310 or, or Kay Kroboth at 901-678-2209 or

Details about the seminar are also available online at

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