W. Ralph Eubanks speaking at Holtzclaw Lecture at Hinds Utica Campus

Published 5:19 pm Monday, October 2, 2023

The annual Holtzclaw Lecture continues Monday, Oct. 16, with the distinguished author, essayist and Southern culture educator W. Ralph Eubanks, whose talk is, “The Mississippi Delta Beyond the Blues.”

Eubanks explores the lives of black people living in the Mississippi Delta backcountry and in the small towns of Mississippi today and asks relevant questions that go beyond the culture of
the Delta Blues that has made towns like Clarksdale and Indianola popular tourist destinations.

“Although I use the blues as a narrative thread, I am referencing the blues as a music of protest rather than the blues we use to attract tourists,” Eubanks said. “I think every Mississippian
should develop a closer idea of the real Mississippi Delta beyond the mythology that has been constructed over the years.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Eubanks is a Guggenheim Fellow who was awarded the Mississippi Governor’s Arts Award for excellence in literature in February 2023.

A cultural ambassador for Mississippi, he is currently a faculty fellow at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi.

Hinds Utica English Instructor Dan Fuller said the Holtzclaw Annual Lecture is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mississippi Humanities Council and has been an annual tradition at Utica since 2016.

Fuller said that each year they bring a scholar in the humanities to the campus for a conversation about ways we can work for change to make Mississippi an even better place to call home.

“His book, ‘Ever is a Long Time,’ is an incredibly powerful narrative about growing up in Mississippi,” Fuller said. “I’ve read it many times on my own and with students. It’s an
important story that informs the work we’re doing at our HBCU. I can’t wait to hear more about Eubanks’ current project in the Mississippi Delta.”

The lecture is from 2 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 16 in the Shirley Hopkins Davis Amphitheater on the Utica Campus. Admission is free.