Charley Patton

The article in Mississippi Folklife about the dedication of Charley Patton's headstone was published on April 2, 2018.
CLICK HERE to read the online journal

The headstone erected by the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund in honor of Charley Patton sits in the back of the burial ground--in front of the trees in the picture above--where many of the older burials remain unmarked.  

Following the dedication, "Pops" Staples and John Fogerty, the former frontman of Creedence Clearwater Revival, performed at the Second Annual Pops Staples Blues Festival.

Rev. Ernest Ware and Cemetery Eradication

The dedication of the memorial for Charley Patton at New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church also brought out into the light a most ghoulish crime of cemetery desecration.  After the ceremony, while different folks started discussing the destruction of headstones in Mississippi, Rev. Ernest Ware exclaimed, "Not just headstones, [but] whole cemeteries...they did it to my brother."  People were shocked. Having grown "up in a town where Revolutionary War guys were buried (Rahway, N.J.), Skip Henderson admitted that he "thought cemeteries were forever," "This was mind-boggling," he admitted. "Children's graves turned into cotton and soybeans?" Click here to read more about the first legal action supported by the MZMF.

Feature Story

More than a Memorial to the Voice of the Delta

Charley Patton’s Grave: More than a Memorial in Holly Ridge Mississippi Folklife