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Feature Story

Jukin’ Through the Delta w/ Hodding Carter III

By Hodding Carter III – Chicago Tribune - September 8, 1991
Audrey imagined it is a sweet potato with a pointed top and a rounded bottom. That's the home of the blues—the Mississippi Delta—beginning 10 miles south of Memphis and circling to a close at the foot of Vicksburg's red clay cliffs: bordered on the west by Ol' Man River and on the east by Faulkner’s low-lying hills.
As she drove down out of Memphis, the Delta spread out before her. First, it was less than a mile wide, but soon, only a short way down the road, she could no longer see where it began or ended. This rich, black earth, swaddled by the flooding Mississippi River for thousands of years, consumed every inch of space, and all around her the land was level. Not flat, though—like Kansas or some dead prairie—because flat would be lifeless, but so level that you could glimpse a man turning the soil five miles down the road.
Audrey was in search of the blues. She had begun her journey a few years back when she fi…

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