Mississippi Delta Dichotomies

By Poor William

Poor William, Rosalind Wilcox, Daniel Vassel, Robin Colonas at New Roxy in Clarksdale. Photo by DB

Poor William, Rosalind Wilcox, Daniel Vassel, Robin Colonas at New Roxy in Clarksdale. Photo by DB

Extremes searching for Synthesis


The Mississippi Delta is all about discrete entities rubbin’ against each other symbiotically in a search for synthesis, peace and order. Iron sharpening iron! We are black, we are white, we are rich, we are poor; we embody in one geographical/cultural place extreme extremes where poles and polars provide fecundity for affinity among the extremes.


Featuring performances by “Big A” Anthony Sherrod, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Robert “Bilbo” Walker, “Big George” Brock, Lightnin’ Malcolm, Walt Busby, Daddy Rich, Snake Drive, Stan Street, Alphonso Sanders, and Calvin Johnson.

Many the world over think of the Mississippi Delta as a haven for racists, illiterates, rednecks, white trash, black trash, gun toters, free loaders, backwardness, etc., but what these non-initiates do not realize, nor will they likely ever understand unless they bring their asses down here for more than a pass-through, is that our extremes have an intense affinity for one another and they have more in common than they don’t!

When I was in the Army stationed in Germany in the early 80’s, this white, middle-class Southern “College boy” got along better with blacks than he did with Yankees! Now, I ain’ got nothing against Yankees, but I sho can’t move back here after a two-decade hiatus and not talk about ‘em, even if I don’t mind ‘em! That’s how we roll in the Delta!

There is a sayin’ in the South that sums up some realities for Delta living among the races and is applicable across the board in other areas; it goes something like this: “In general, white Southerners and black Southerners don’t necessarily like each other on a race level, but they love each other as individuals; while Northern whites and blacks are more prone to love each other as races, but maybe not as much on an individual basis.

This is a huge generalization and I am not advocating it as optimum, but given love of a people group versus love of individuals within a people group, I believe loving individuals is a hell of a lot more important and will actually lead to more understanding among the extremes. Our extremes are our opportunities! The more we fellowship with those perceived to be different than us, the more we will find out that we are not as different as we think! And, our differences will become our collective strengths! Cheers! pw

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Red's Blues Lounge in Clarksdale

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  1. Gordon Yamamoto says:

    Hey, Brother Buzz!!
    I enjoyed your video, and comments on Southern living!! I too, make generalizations all the time, and sometimes get called on them. Not only do I agree with your assessment, but I think that separating North vs South in your analysis may be shifting to include the entire Country. In other words, the fast flow of information so widely disseminated, gives all of us glimpses of events in every region. I know you, and Madge, andI love to meet new people on a one to one basis, so thatz what inspired this feedback. Continued good luck and fortune to y”all!! See you in May, I hope!!

  2. BILLY HOWELL says:

    Thanks, Yamo, my erstwhile West-Coast Vato!!! Much Love, Chilly! See you in May 😃

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