TOURS: Day in the Delta, Civil Rights & Delta Heritage Tour:
A Day in the Delta Tour
Peter’s Pottery (www.peter-pottery.com)
McCarty Pottery and Gardens (www.mccartyspottery.com)
Shopping and strolling along the historic downtown walking trail
Stop in at the Martin & Sue King Railroad Museum
Lunch at one of Cleveland’s many family-owned restaurants
Tour the Delta State University campus ad visit the Boo Ferris Baseball Museum
Dockery Farms heritage tour and lecture (www.dockeryfarms.org)
Stop at the hotel to freshen up before dinner
For dinner, choices range from casual barbecue and blues to 4-star dining
Evening entertainment choose from a Bologna Performing Arts Center performance in season, Po Monkey’s Juke Joint on Thursday nights or another of the areas night spots.
Civil Rights and Soul of the Blues Tour
Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial
Po Monkey’s Juke Joint
Morning: The Chamber of Commerce official welcome center, a great place to begin an introduction to the Civil Rights Trail in the Mississippi Delta.
First stop at Dockery Farms, a designated site on the Mississippi Blues Trail.
B. B. King has said that if you had to name one site where the blues took root, it would be at Dockery. Enjoy the stories of Charlie Patton and other early bluesmen entertaining on the steps of the commissary.
Next visit Fannie Lou Hamer’s Memorial site in Ruleville.
Hear the stories about how she progressed from sharecropping on the Sunflower Plantation to leading the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to the convention
Then follow the history of Emmitt Till’s journey in the Delta. The event that was the catalyst for the beginning of the Civil Rights movement.
Along the way stop at sites where Amsey Moore, Medgar Evers and Aaron Henry put plans together to develop the Civil Rights movement in the Mississippi Delta. Visit Amsey’s home where workers could meet and stay.
Lunch at the Country Platter, formally Lilley’s Soul Food Cafe, the site where Civil Rights workers held meetings and were fed mouth watering SOUL FOOD.
Travel along Highway 61 to Mound Bayou, the oldest incorporated, all-black city in the USA. Founded by former slaves to Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy.
Spend the evening being entertained at Po Monkey’s Juke Joint, one of the last remaining authentic Jukes in the Mississippi Delta.
Delta Heritage Tour
Delta State University – Delta Center for Culture and Learning
The Delta Heritage Tour begins on campus at Delta State University, in Cleveland, MS, at 9:30 a.m. for an hour of introduction to the Delta and its heritage. The group then travels through the central Delta, takes an hour break for lunch, with completion of the program around 4:00 p.m.
(Lunch is buffet style country cooking, and costs $9 per person in addition to the tour cost.)
The tour is an intensive look at the Delta’s heritage, and includes illustrations from the Blues, freedom songs, and folk songs. It also uses some video clips to introduce and explain topics. The tour should be thought of as a moving classroom that uses the places of the Delta as the primary text for the day.
Specific topics include: immigrant stories, especially that of the Delta Chinese; agriculture; plantation life, cotton, and sharecropping; Dockery Farms as the birthplace of the blues; Charley Patton; Robert Johnson and the crossroads; Fannie Lou Hamer and her legacy; Julius Rosenwald and his schools; Parchman Penitentiary; German POW camps; Mound Bayou as an “all Black community”; the first HMO and the first Community Oriented Primary Care Facility; the last rural Juke Joint; Highway 61; the Mississippi River; the great flood of 1927 and how it changed the world.
The Delta Heritage Tour can be customized as needed. Buses can be arranged, but will be at added expense.
Additional tours are available focusing on the Mississippi Blues Heritage Trail, the murder of Emmett Till, Blues museums in the Delta, and other locales within the Delta region, including Memphis.
Prices are available on request.