Southern Blues and Folklife Rekindled: Voices of Mississippi

Thu. March 21, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Jefferson School African American Heritage Center

233 4th St NW, Charlottesville, VA 22903

Sponsored by: The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation

Hosted by: Virginia Folklife Program at Virginia Humanities


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Scott Barretta, William Ferris, and Tom Rankin discuss their collaborative effort in creating Voices of Mississippi, the life’s work of Ferris, an audio recordist, filmmaker, folklorist, and teacher with an unwavering commitment to establish and to expand the study of the American South. The program will feature audio and video from this superb collection. Book sales and signing will follow. FREE to attend and open to the public.

Why should you attend?

“William Ferris was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1942. Growing up on a working farm, Ferris began at a young age documenting the artwork, music, and lives of the people on the farm and in his local community.  The archive of recordings that he created and the documentary films that he had a hand in producing have served as powerful tools in institutions of higher learning for decades.”—Dust-to-Digital

“[Voices of Mississippi] is so important in preserving the cornerstone of our musical American history. While listening to the amazing sounds of these tracks and paging through the brilliantly done book, it s clear that a lot of care and love went into the making of this project.”―Lucinda Williams

“Going from farm to front porch across the American south in the 1960s, William Ferris recorded everything from praying pigs to haunting blues a political act, he says, at a time when black voices were being silenced.”―Rebecca Bengal, The Guardian