Mississippi Sitar Players, Kimbrough Family, Community Activism and Jackson’s Duttoville Neighborhood Focus of Mississippi Folklife Winter Issue

JACKSON, MISS. – Dec. 18, 2019 – The Winter 2019 Issue of Mississippi Folklife is now available online at www.mississippifolklife.org. This digital journal features original writing, photography, films and documentary work focused on present-day folklife and cultural heritage throughout the state. Mississippi Folklife is a project of the Mississippi Arts Commission.

The four features included in this issue are as follows:

Writer Ben DuPriest explores the dynamic nature of a family tradition by delving into the cotton patch soul blues sound of the Kimbrough family in the article, “Rebuilding the Club and Reconstructing the Past at the Cotton Patch Soul Blues Festival.” DuPriest conducted fieldwork with Junior Kimbrough’s son, Robert Kimbrough Sr., who discusses how his family’s music is often mislabeled by culture brokers, music industry folks and blues fans. Robert Kimbrough created a festival to honor his father’s memory and to help rewrite the narrative of the Kimbrough blues sound in the family’s own terms.

In “Legacies of Community, Activism and Care in Charleston, Mississippi” by Courtney DeLong, the writer traces an important history of community networks, political activism and educational support in Charleston from the 1960s to the present day. She focuses on the history of local activists Lucy Mae Boyd and Birdia Keglar. Boyd and Keglar’s legacy continues today in the work of community leaders in Charleston who have created the Charleston Day Organization and the Humility Day event to reaffirm and strengthen neighborly bonds and celebrate the community’s values.

A Return to Duttoville” by Addie Citchens is an essay about the community of Duttoville, an African American neighborhood in Jackson, Mississippi. Citchens visits the Annual Neighborhood Reunion and talks with community residents and natives of Duttoville, who speak about the history of the neighborhood as well as “migrations and homecomings, on common roots and connections that don’t die.” 

In “An Interview with Sitarists Vish Shenoy and Hiranmay Goswami,” Maria Zeringue speaks with two sitarists based in Clinton, Mississippi. Over the course of their talk, Shenoy and Goswami discuss how they learned to play sitar, practicing and performing with the instrument, Indian classical music, how the instrument is made and sold, as well as the small sitar-playing community in the state. 

The issue’s editorial team includes: Addie Citchens, Music Editor; Amanda Malloy, Visual Arts Editor; Tamara Becerra Valdez, Digital Editor; and Maria Zeringue, Managing Editor. Contributors include Ben DuPriest, Courtney DeLong, Addie Citchens, Vish Shenoy and Hiranmay Goswami. 

Support for Mississippi Folklife comes from the Mississippi Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. This publication is freely accessible online at www.mississippifolklife.org

Contact:  Maria Zeringue | Folk and Traditional Arts Director | mzeringue@arts.ms.gov | (601) 359-6034