Mississippi Cotton: A Southern Story

In 1951 the body of an unknown white man is found in the Mississippi river along the Mississippi Delta. Two black men discover it while fishing. A young boy, Jake Conner, visits his country cousins in the small Delta town of Cotton City and begins parallel journeys discovering the dead manís identity and fate. Along the journey Jake befriends a stalwart black man recently back from the Korean War, who teaches him that Confederates were gray because they were merged in the black and white of Mississippi.

He learns of dark forces of the past, and with the camaraderie of his family, the acquaintance of a simple-minded sharecropper, and the eccentricities of a strange woman from the past, also gets a look into the future of the agrarian land of Mississippi.

Although the focal point in MISSISSIPPI COTTON is the Mississippi Delta, the story is more broadly a Southern story, which is to say an agrarian story. From the beginning, the North and South have been different worlds: The South the agrarian society, the North the navigation society. Nothing wrong with being either, but that s the way it has been. So when I write about Mississippi, specifically, I write about the South generally and an agrarian society generally.

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