Program

Education Programs: Landmarks of American History and Culture

Period of Performance

10/1/2015 - 12/31/2016

Funding Totals

$179,791.00 (approved)
$179,791.00 (awarded)


The Most Southern Place on Earth: Music, History, and Culture of the Mississippi Delta

FAIN: BH-231287-15

Delta State University (Cleveland, MS 38733-0001)
Rolando Herts (Project Director: February 2015 to May 2017)

Two one-week workshops for seventy-two school teachers on the history and culture of the Mississippi Delta, with music as a focus.

The Most Southern Place on Earth: Music, History, and Culture of the Mississippi Delta was presented with NEH support in June and July of 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013, and 2014. The Most Southern Place on Earth addresses all four of the goals of the Landmarks program. It informs participants of the important role that the Mississippi Delta has played in American history, a role that is very often ignored or overlooked. Since the Delta is a place of “mean poverty and garish opulence” (according to Will Campbell), intellectual exploration of its heritage requires building a community of civility. Our approach is highly experiential and tells heritage stories at the places where they happened.



Media Coverage

Charles McLaurin: Footsoldier of the Civil Rights Movement (Media Coverage)
Publication: WXVT News (CBS affiliate)
Date: 6/22/2016
Abstract: WXVT News broadcasted a feature story on Charles McLaurin, a Mississippi Delta-based "foot soldier" of the Civil Rights Movement. A contemporary of voting rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer and a Freedom Summer participant, McLaurin is one of several primary sources with whom "Most Southern" workshop participants engage.
URL: http://deltacenterdsu.com/news/media-coverage-from-neh-most-southern-place-workshops

Teachers from across country experience Delta's rich culture (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Mary Alford
Publication: Delta Democrat Times
Date: 6/13/2016
Abstract: Brief newspaper article published by Delta Democrat Times in Greenville, MS, that provides a general overview of the "Most Southern" workshop. Workshop co-director, Lee Aylward, was interviewed, as well as workshop participant Kevin Mears, a history teacher based in Brooklyn, New York.
URL: http://deltacenterdsu.com/news/media-coverage-from-neh-most-southern-place-workshops

Diving into Delta: Weeklong course immerses teachers in area's history, culture (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Kathryn Eastburn
Publication: The Greenwood Commonwealth
Date: 7/17/2016
Abstract: Front page Sunday edition article published by The Greenwood Commonwealth in Greenwood, MS. This is an in depth story about the Thursday session of the "Most Southern" workshop with special emphasis on the Emmett Till Trail immersion experience in Sumner, Glendora, and Money, MS. Workshop co-director, Rolando Herts, was interviewed, as well as workshop participants Ann Bienvenue of Lowell, Massachusetts, Kevin Means of Brooklyn, New York, Collette Berard of Somerville, Massachusetts, and Emily Chadwick of McMinnville, Oregon. Speakers and community partners interviewed include Patrick Weems, Emmitt Till Interpretive Center; Mayor Johnny Thomas of Glendora;
URL: http://deltacenterdsu.com/news/media-coverage-from-neh-most-southern-place-workshops



Associated Products

NEH "Most Southern Place" Workshop June 2016 Session: Days 1-6 (Blog Post)
Title: NEH "Most Southern Place" Workshop June 2016 Session: Days 1-6
Author: Will Jacks
Author: Kyra Rubin
Author: Trey Walk
Abstract: Series of daily blog posts from the June 2016 "Most Southern" workshop featuring photographs of workshop sessions and experiential learning field excursions, as well as video interviews of participants and speakers reflecting on what they have learned and experienced during the workshop
Date: 6/20/2016
Primary URL: http://deltacenterdsu.com/news-read-more
Primary URL Description: Individual blog posts for the June 2016 workshop are available via the following URLs: Day 1: http://deltacenterdsu.com/news/neh-most-southern-place-workshop-day-1 Day 2: http://deltacenterdsu.com/news/neh-most-southern-place-workshop-day-2 Day 3: http://deltacenterdsu.com/news/neh-most-southern-place-workshop-day-3 Day 4: http://deltacenterdsu.com/news/neh-most-southern-place-workshop-day-4 Day 5: http://deltacenterdsu.com/news/neh-most-southern-place-workshop-day-5 Day 6: http://deltacenterdsu.com/news/neh-most-southern-place-workshop-day-6
Website: The Delta Center for Culture and Learning

NEH "Most Southern" Workshop Lesson Plans Resource Center (Course or Curricular Material)
Title: NEH "Most Southern" Workshop Lesson Plans Resource Center
Author: Various NEH workshop participants, 2010 - present
Abstract: The NEH "Most Southern" Workshop Lesson Plans Resource Center serves as a digital archive of participants' contributed lesson plans, reflections, and other materials created during the workshop. The Resource Center is accessible to current and former NEH participants, as well as the general public.
Year: 2010
Primary URL: http://deltacenterdsu.com/lesson-plans-1
Audience: Other

NEH "Most Southern Place" Workshop July 2016 Session: Days 1-6 (Blog Post)
Title: NEH "Most Southern Place" Workshop July 2016 Session: Days 1-6
Author: Will Jacks
Author: Kyra Rubin
Author: Trey Walk
Abstract: Series of daily blog posts from the July 2016 "Most Southern" workshop featuring photographs of workshop sessions and experiential learning field excursions, as well as video interviews of participants and speakers reflecting on what they have learned and experienced during the workshop
Date: 7/12/2016
Primary URL: http://deltacenterdsu.com/news-read-more
Primary URL Description: Individual blog posts for the July 2016 workshop are available via the following URLs: Day 1: http://deltacenterdsu.com/news/neh-most-southern-place-workshop-session-2-day-1 Day 2: http://deltacenterdsu.com/news/neh-most-southern-place-workshop-session-2-day-2 Day 3: http://deltacenterdsu.com/news/neh-most-southern-place-workshop-session-2-day-3 Day 4: http://deltacenterdsu.com/news/neh-most-southern-place-workshop-session-2-day-4 Day 5: http://deltacenterdsu.com/news/neh-most-southern-place-workshop-session-2-day-5 Day 6: http://deltacenterdsu.com/news/neh-most-southern-place-workshop-session-2-day-6
Secondary URL: http://deltacenterdsu.com/news/neh-most-southern-place-workshop-session-2-day-1
Website: The Delta Center for Culture and Learning

Transforming Classrooms Through Experiences in the Mississippi Delta (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Transforming Classrooms Through Experiences in the Mississippi Delta
Author: Rolando Herts; Lee Aylward
Abstract: Delta Center presents at national conference for social studies educators The staff of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State recently presented at the National Association of Social Studies Teachers’ annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. The presentation, “Transforming Classrooms Through Experiences in the Mississippi Delta,” highlighted The Delta Center’s National Endowment for the Humanities workshop “The Most Southern Place on Earth, the Music, Culture and History of the Mississippi Delta.”
Date: 12/2/2016
Primary URL: http://www.deltastate.edu/news-and-events/2015/12/delta-center-presents-at-national-conference-for-social-studies-educators/
Conference Name: National Association of Social Studies Teachers

NEH “The Most Southern Place” Workshop program overview (Web Resource)
Title: NEH “The Most Southern Place” Workshop program overview
Author: The Delta Center for Culture and Learning
Abstract: Section of The Delta Center's website that features the NEH "Most Southern" workshop. Serves as a primary informational and educational resource for workshop applicants, current participants, and past participants, as well as the general public.
Year: 2016
Primary URL: http://deltacenterdsu.com/mostsouthern/

Prizes

2016 Georgene Clark Diversity Champion Award
Date: 3/29/2016
Organization: Diversity Committee, Delta State University
Abstract: Delta State University’s Diversity Committee established the award to recognize individuals and divisions/departments that have made extraordinary efforts to promote diversity awareness at Delta State and in the broader community. According to Arlene Sanders, chair of the Diversity Committee, “For several years, The Delta Center has offered programs that highlight the Mississippi Delta’s rich cultural diversity. They offer National Endowment for the Humanities workshops that attract educators from all over the country to learn about the Delta. They manage the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area that offers programs like the Delta Jewels Oral History Partnership about African American church mothers. They direct an international blues project that highlights the global influence of blues music and culture. For these reasons and many more, The Delta Center is most deserving of this award.”

June and July 2016 "Most Southern Place on Earth" workshop portfolios (Web Resource)
Title: June and July 2016 "Most Southern Place on Earth" workshop portfolios
Author: Rolando Herts
Author: Trey Walk
Author: Kyra Rubin
Abstract: The "Most Southern" portfolios are developed annually by undergraduate students from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Duke University who are part of the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program. The students are assigned to The Delta Center for Culture and Learning via the Community Summer component of the program. Community Summer is designed to increase the Robertson Scholars' awareness of the social and economic challenges of the Mississippi Delta. Their direct involvement with developing the portfolios represents a quite valuable educational partnership and service learning experience. The portfolios allow the Robertson Scholars to acquire and apply expertise in project management, team management, photography, and report writing. The portfolios also serve as an educational resource and programmatic reference for past, current, and aspiring workshop participants, as well as NEH Landmarks Program staff.
Year: 2016
Primary URL: http://http://static1.squarespace.com/static/551b6cffe4b04e2cba1e2b00/t/579fab67e3df2860923a3df1/1470081902005/NEH+June+2016.compressed.pdf
Primary URL Description: June 2016 workshop portfolio featuring summaries of daily activities
Secondary URL: http://http://static1.squarespace.com/static/551b6cffe4b04e2cba1e2b00/t/579faaf3d2b857c8334dc1d6/1470081786223/NEH+July+2016.compressed.pdf
Secondary URL Description: July 2016 workshop portfolio featuring summaries of daily activities