Those Mississippi Delta Nerves

From what we have talked and read about the Delta Mississippi, all I can say is that it sounds like it has a unique culture with many different things to experience and offer. The first thing most people imagine is what is illustrated by the statistics. Experiencing high rights of poverty, unemployment, and a huge migration of people leaving the region, this area is fright with economic problems. However, from what we have talked about and read about, these statistics and images don’t capture the whole picture. This area has a rich history that goes back well before Civil War time. With its livelihood rooted in the agricultural economy, the mechanization of this field lead to a loss of jobs and thus people in the area. Despite this, it also produced a strong core population that has stayed in the area for many generations and who are proud to call it their home. This history has produced a strong blues culture that seems to mark its identity. We talked about the friendly people who have lived in the area their whole lives and who want to improve it because it is their home.

So, how does this all tie into the research project we will be conducting in the area? Throughout the class, we have talked about how we will be surveying the residents of the area about their life in the Delta, discussed how to properly interview people, and learned about the Delta region itself but it has been in a classroom. Surrounded by four walls, it has felt like a safe space to discuss our images of what to expect when we get there. Throughout my experience however, what we anticipate and what we experience never line up. I know there is no way to completely anticipate every situation and every difference we will encounter and it’s always a bit nerve racking. What if people don’t want to take part in the survey at all? What if something goes wrong? However this nervousness is something that doesn’t dissuade the excited feeling of seeing what is to come. Ever since I first read about this class, I was excited to get to take an active, hands-on, part in this research. I know that nervousness always comes with new experiences. It’s a sign that you’re ready to learn and experience something new, outside the standard comfort zone. Leading up to this trip, we have prepared but I believe that we as a team know that just around that corner is a whole new exciting experience that we can’t wait to learn from.

So for now, all I can say is see you in the Delta!


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