Think of the Mississippi Delta. Maybe you imagine cotton fields, sharecroppers and blues music.

It’s been all that. But for more than a century, the Delta has also been a magnet for immigrants. I was intrigued to learn about one immigrant group in particular: the Delta Chinese.

We went there and found family histories that are deeply entwined in the community. 

The Legacy Of The Mississippi Delta Chinese

Photos by Elissa Nadworny


Check out @IamRastaB freestyle to Atliens🔥🔥🔥……. Up & Coming artist from Mississippi be on the lookout for his mixtape !! #DreadsOfALion #NewArtistAlert #HipHopIsBack #Nola #Atl #Mississippi

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A black church was set on fire and tagged with the words “Vote Trump”

On Tuesday night, the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi, was set on fire and vandalized with the words “Vote Trump.” No injuries have been reported. The FBI is investigating the incident “to determine if any civil rights crimes were committed.” There is a GoFundMe to help the church rebuild. This crime is giving us deja vu.

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Historic Mississippi black church burned and vandalized with ‘Vote Trump’ graffiti

“This is a hate crime,” said the mayor of a Mississippi town where a historic black church was a target of arson and vandalism Tuesday night.

Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons said that local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, were investigating the burning of 111-year-old Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church. “Vote Trump” was spray-painted on the outside of the church.

See FULL STORY by Christopher Wilson/Yahoo News

Photographs by Rogelio V. Solis/AP

See more images of the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church on Yahoo News

“In the Delta, most of the world seemed sky… The land was perfectly flat and level but it shimmered like the wing of a lighted dragonfly. It seemed strummed, as though it were an instrument and something had touched it.” 
–Eudora Welty, Delta Wedding

The next best thing to experiencing Mississippi first-hand, as we’re doing now, is absorbing it through the state’s legendary writers. I’m having a great time working my way through this stack for this week’s trip.

We’re working on a story from Rowan Oak, William Faulkner’s antebellum home in Oxford, Mississippi. We were skulking around outside, thinking we didn’t really have time to go in, tempting though it was. But the exuberant curator, Bill Griffith, caught us peeking and insisted we join him for a tour. I’m so glad we did! This is Faulkner’s writing room, and that’s his portable Underwood on a small table his mother gave him. Sometimes he’d move the whole setup outside to write outdoors under the trees. My other favorite thing in this room: the can of Scram Dog Repellent he used to keep ‘em away from his fancy climbing roses.

Listen for our story Monday, Feb. 13th, on All Things Considered.