What a turn of events. The struggles, torments, sites, and acts of domestic terrorism leveled against African Americans and other people of color is now being used to create heritage tourism in the Mississippi Delta. But who is benefitting financially?
A day long civil rights summit will convene September 27, 2023, at the B.B. King Museum and Interpretative Center, 400 2nd Street, Indianola, MS to possibly provide some answers to the aforementioned question and enlighten the residents of the Delta that they hold the stories that are now being monetized and marketed to the world. Stories that have been suppressed for generations because of fear and retaliation by the white minority that to this day keeps a strangle hold on the wealth that was built on slave labor.
In the summer of 2023, President Biden signed a proclamation establishing the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley Monument in the Mississippi Delta. And considering these significant developments, a collective of regional and national partners are collaboratively hosting the Mississippi Delta Civil Rights Heritage Tourism Summit.
Rolando Herts, executive director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University, said, “The summit will bring various community stakeholders together to learn about exciting civil rights heritage tourism development activities that continue to grow throughout the Mississippi Delta region.”
The summit will feature panel discussions and presentations on a range of topics including the Mississippi Freedom Trail, preserving Mississippi Freedom Houses, developing and engaging civil rights storytellers, tourism marketing/promotion, and funding opportunities.
The event is free and open to the public. To attend, confirmed registration is required. To register and get tickets visit https://www.msdeltaheritage.com/cr-summit.
• Morning sessions – 8:00 a.m. – 12 noon. Breakfast will be provided along with a welcome, greetings, and networking time will be offered and facilitated. Connections between Blues and Civil Rights Heritage tourism will be a central focus during the morning session.
• Lunch and visits to museum exhibits – 12:00 Noon – 1:15 p.m.
• Afternoon sessions – 1:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Preserving civil rights heritage sites for tourism; Mississippi Freedom Trail; marketing and promotion of civil rights heritage tourism sites; funding opportunities for civil rights heritage tourism; and summit closing: Reelections and wrap up.
• Dinner and a Movie Event at Club Ebony (404 Hanna Ave., Indianola, MS 38751) – 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. “Promised Land: A Story About Mound Bayou” will be presented with a panel discussion to follow.
Summit partners include B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, Mississippi Heritage Trust, Mississippi Humanities Council, Mound Bayou Museum, National Park Service, and The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University. Funding for the summit is generously provided by the National Parks Conservation Association.