The Virginia Folklife Program at Virginia Humanities is proud to partner with our sister program the Virginia Festival of the Book to present authors Scott Barretta, William Ferris, and Tom Rankin in a discussion about their collaborative effort to create Voices of Mississippi. The book is 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. The accompanying CD project just received two Grammy nominations for Best Album Notes and Best Historical Album. The event is sponsored by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation.
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