Where the Roots Grow Deep

Rebecca Moseman

2017 - Ongoing

This series of photographs is part of an ongoing project about the African American people living in the deep south. My photographs strive to weave a layered story of the African American people of the Delta, their socio-economical and psychological challenges, their battles with natural hardships such as flooded land, as well as their rich cultural traditions, inspired charm and persistent resilience.

The Black Lives Matter movement has never been so important and prevalent in our lives as today. This grant would enable my series Where the Roots Grow Deep to bring awareness and attention to the unique and unappreciated African American culture and people of the deep south and their influence on the region and beyond. I consider myself in the beginning stages of exploring this controversial subject matter and the many layers that may be exposed within my explorations.


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  • Baptist Town. A typical domestic scene within Baptist Town, a predominantly African American community located in Greenwood, Mississippi. Baptist Town is located along the Mississippi Blues Trail.

  • Boy in Jonestown. A young African American man pauses outside the local grocery store within the small town of Jonestown, Mississippi.

  • Bufs Beauty Shop. A shop window of a deserted beauty shop within Clarksdale, Mississippi.

  • Girl with Soda Can. A young girl plays outside of her shotgun house within Baptist Town, Mississippi.

  • Men of the East End Washers. A group of African American men gather outside the laundry mat and talk about the unemployment problem within Greenville, Mississippi.

  • Barbershop Crowd. A scene from a crowded local barbershop within the city of Clarksdale, Mississippi.

  • Family. A mother and her two daughters pause outside of an abandoned home on the streets of Greenwood, Mississippi.

  • The Corner Store, Sumner, Mississippi.

  • Two Sisters. Two sisters play on the porch of their shotgun house in the community of Baptist Town.

  • The Boy on The Black Bayou Bridge. An African American boy from Glendora a small poverty stricken town deep in the Mississippi Delta stands on the bridge that Emmitt Till's body was thought to have been dropped in the water.

  • Concerned Mother. A mother from Baptist Town, Mississippi checks on her children playing on the street.

  • Protected. A group of boys from Greenville, Mississippi run behind a fence for protection from a drive by shooting.

  • Shotgun House. A traditional shotgun house on the streets of Baptist Town, Mississippi. Shotgun houses were named for their linear designs and the ability to shoot a bullet through the front door and have it exit the back door without hitting anything.

  • Jonestown Youth. A young man from Jonestown, Mississippi after school. Jonestown is a small town which was recently described in a 2000 study published by Mississippi State University, as a community "plagued by difficult problems."

  • Basketball Boys. A group of boys wander the streets of Glendora, a poverty stricken small town deep in the Mississippi Delta.

  • The Dress Shop. A local dress shop that has remained open during a suffering economy in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

  • Boy from Indianola. A young man from Indianola stands outside his front door. Indianola is known for the famous Ebony Club, which was owned and operated by B.B. King and Mary Shepard.

  • Jonestown Pool Hall. A local pool hall and nightclub within the small town of Jonestown. The pool hall was a popular place for the local youths to hang out.

  • Boys of Glendora. A group of boys from Glendora, Mississippi play on the The Black Bayou Bridge where it is thought that Emmitt Till's body was thought to have been dropped in the water.

  • Preacher Man. Mr. Hoover, the local preacher of the Mt. Zion church stand outside the church doors after the Sunday service.