Today was a powerful day. The morning began with a trip to Mound Bayou, the Mississippi's first all black town, and a key community during the Civil Rights era. On the way back to Cleveland, the group stopped by Po' Monkey's Lounge and upon returning to campus engaged in lecture by Charles McLaurin, who worked closely with Medgar Evers. The afternoon began in the Sumner courthouse with a panel discussion on Emmett Till. The afternoon wrapped up with a trip to Bryant's Grocery in Money, and Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church outside Greenwood, one of the three grave sites for legendary bluesman Robert Johnson. After a short break for dinner, the group returned to Po' Monkey's for an evening of music and dancing at Willie Seaberry's juke joint.
Delta State’s Delta Center for Culture and Learning recently organized a panel discussion on the murder of Emmett Till as part of a July workshop sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
The discussion was held in Tallahatchie County at the new Sumner Grill Restaurant, right across the street from the Sumner Courthouse where Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam were tried for Till’s murder in 1955.
The focus of the NEH workshops is on the history and culture of the Mississippi Delta. Each day, participants are guided through documentaries, information, experiences and tours of historical landmarks and cultural institutions.
Delta State alumni (’61), Chair Emeritus of the Department of Physical Sciences and Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Henry Outlaw leads the topic of the civil rights movement in Mississippi. The Emmett Till story is used as a case study for discussing oppression, revolution and reconciliation.
The Delta Center for Culture and Learning works throughout the region to serve as a “Center of Excellence” at Delta State. It is an interdisciplinary program that is focused on the humanities and environmental sciences related to the Delta.
The NEH is among the nation’s largest funders of humanities programs. It promotes excellence in humanities and delivers historical lessons to Americans in an effort to serve and strengthen the nation.