Delta Bohemian Examines Faith in the Mississippi Delta

Why is faith so important here?

Delta Kokopelli: Faith in the Mississippi Delta

Delta Kokopelli: Faith in the Mississippi Delta

Faith is a crucial component in the lives of most Deltans, and to understand the Mississippi Delta it is imperative to be acutely cognizant of the prominence faith in the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible plays informing and guiding individual and collective Deep South identities. The Delta Bohemian’s voice—often raspy, quiet, unexpected, or even unintelligible—is always overtly or covertly influenced by our faith and our Bohemian ways.

The above statement does not imply all Deltans are Christians, nor do all adhere to any known or unknown belief systems. It does not disparage anyone’s faith in other gods, faith in mankind or self, or imply they are “less than” because of a lack of faith. Faith is just an integral lineament serving as a plumb line for most spiritual folks in the Mississippi Delta, and to ignore it is to miss an essential ingredient in Delta identity.

To understand the Mississippi Delta one has to comprehend how essential faith is to most Deltans—black and white! A fella interested in doing a gritty major cable network TV series set in the Mississippi Delta was interviewing my erstwhile vato Mr. Lil John McKee and me recently. We shared some seminal socio-economic, agricultural, demographic, and cultural thoughts we believe creative outsiders need to be familiar with in order to comprehend the “Most Southern Place on Earth,” and understanding the germaneness of faith in the lives of Southerners is paramount in discerning what makes us tick.

Madge and I believe God is pointing at the Mississippi Delta, particularly at Clarksdale; others believe, as do we, that people from all over the world find this area magnetic because the Blues was birthed here. Inherent in the fascination with ground zero for the blues is the question, “Why was it birthed here?” There are as many answers as there are raconteurs, but the perennial question is worthy of being mulled over, often.

The Delta Bohemian® believes faith matters, and we do not want to neglect sharing our faith when we feel so compelled, but sharing or not sharing our faith overtly is not our focus. Our desire is to just be ourselves and to share our one thin lens on the Mississippi Delta, which happens to include faith and the individuality and freedom inherent in Bohemian thought and practice.

For those pontificators really interested in why the Blues was birthed here, another good question to add to the woolgathering is, “Why is faith so important in the Mississippi Delta?”

Cheers and may many rhetorical questions guide your search!

—chilly billy

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