“No single institution in the Delta region has had a more profound impact on the entire culture of the Mississippi Delta than the countless African-American churches that accent the landscape. The ubiquitous presence of these churches and their adjoining cemeteries and churchyards—these sacred spaces—constitutes a kind of three-dimensional iconography in an otherwise profane agricultural landscape. Landmarks to some, places of spiritual refuge to others, “home church” to their devoted members, these centers of religious and social life have been planned, built, decorated, and maintained by local communities for heartfelt reasons. . . . Thus the look and life of the church, inside and out, reflect the attitudes, beliefs, aspirations, and realities of the community. . . . The church survives not only as a place of worship, but also as a symbol to the membership of a sacred home where a formal commitment to religion began, where family meets, and where forebears once gathered."
Reception / Artist's Talk
February 27, 2008, 5:30-7:30, Rare Book Room, Perkins Library
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