This story was first published in The Miami Herald, on September, 1995
CLARKSDALE. Miss. This is the heart of the Delta, a brooding, magnificent plain in northwest Mississippi that runs south to Vicksburg, east to Mississippi’s central mountain range and spills over into Arkansas to the west and Tennessee to the north.
The blues were born around here at the turn of the century, and its ghosts still haunt the place. The markers are everywhere: gravestones standing in empty fields, a roofless, wooden shack at the side of the road, a weather-beaten barn, its paint peeling.
This was the music of poor, rural Southern blacks living under brutal conditions in post-emancipation times. It would seem it all happened too long ago to matter. The world is different place now.