Delta Center, MDNHA presents Delta Jewels in Mound Bayou

The Delta Center for Culture and Learning, the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area and Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church of Mound Bayou are jointly sponsoring Alysia Burton Steele’s “Gathering of the Delta Jewels.”

This historic gathering will celebrate all of the Mississippi Delta church mothers who were photographed and interviewed for Steele’s book “Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom.”

The event will take place at Mount Olive in Mound Bayou on July 11 beginning with a social hour and refreshments at 12:30 p.m. The affair is one of several scheduled activities during the 128th Mound Bayou Founders’ Day Weekend. To see the full weekend schedule, visit

“These ordinary women lived extraordinary lives under the harshest conditions of the Jim Crow era and during the courageous changes of the Civil Rights Movement,” said Steele. “I am grateful to Reverend Andrew L. Hawkins and local ministers for connecting me to these precious matriarchs who are still vibrant, beautiful, loving examples of living history, and the faces of faith and courage during very difficult times. I also appreciate the support of The Delta Center and the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area. These organizations are committed to helping to tell these Delta stories in Delta communities to educate, inspire and heal.”

The official program begins at with remarks from Keith Beauchamp, creator of the Emmy Award-nominated documentary film “The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till.” Mayor Darryl Johnson of Mound Bayou will also provide remarks. Fred Zollo, producer of the critically acclaimed films “Mississippi Burning” and “Ghosts of Mississippi” is also scheduled to be in attendance.

Following the program, there will be a book signing reception where guests can meet the author and many of the Delta Jewels. A representative from Delta State University’s Barnes and Noble bookstore will have copies of the book available for purchase.

Delta Jewels has been featured in The New York Times, Southern Living magazine and various other national publications.