Why the Mississippi Delta Matters

Posted on March 8, 2022 by PLT Staff

Lecture given by W. Ralph Eubanks at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute in Cambridge, MA (February 15, 2022). In this special event, which PLT director Charles Marsh called an “unsurpassable gift,” author and journalist Eubanks asks, “Why does the Mississippi Delta matter?” According to Eubanks, while the Delta is an important place in American culture, lots has also been commodified from it without anything being given back. He also explains how the  racial wealth gap is immense in the Delta and how the legacy of slavery remains, largely because of U.S. social and agricultural policies that prevented change for Black people both regionally and nationally. Eubanks concludes that we, as a nation, must change not only the way we see but also what we know; we must understand how the Delta and its inequality have been shaped by American (not just Southern) forces. Randall L. Kennedy, Michael R. Klein Professor at Harvard Law School, led a Q&A after the presentation. To find a listing of all our Occasional Lectures, click here.

The Harvard Radcliffe Institute’s Julia S. Phelps Annual Lecture in the Arts and Humanities was established to honor the late Julia S. Phelps, a longtime instructor in the Radcliffe Seminars, and is supported by the generous contributions of her family, friends, and colleagues.

  • Video Information
  • Date Recorded:February 15, 2022
  • Location Recorded:Cambridge, MA
  • Speaker: W. Ralph Eubanks
Video courtesy of the Harvard Radcliffe Institute. For questions related to this video, including permission to use, please contact the Institute directly: https://www.radcliffe.harvard.edu/about-the-institute/media.