The Catfish Row Museum in Vicksburg has received a grant from the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area that will provide support in engaging with the community and building the museum’s relationship with the Delta and the culture of Mississippi.
Public events will include hands-on workshops, curatorial events and panel discussions centered around local Foodways. Through workshops, we will develop content and collect artifacts for the museum. In the Museum Lab space, visitors can scan, copy and donate documents such as letters, recipes, and historic photographs, as well as record oral history interviews. In the Exhibition space, community members can observe and provide feedback on how their artifacts and stories will be used in exhibits.
At the heart of Foodways lie rich stories of crossing barriers and borders, of lives intertwined with food, as food and place are linked through the diversity of income and ethnicity in the south.
Save the date for the first Food for Thought program:
Saturday, February 26: Margaret Walker: Food, Fellowship, and Forms of Activism — Robert Luckett, civil rights historian and director of a special collections archive with the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University
The Museum Lab will perpetuate culture, tell the stories of often overlooked communities, offer a viable community space for special events and live music, and build the network by forging a strong partnership with the city’s most valuable asset, its people. We will engage with the public on issues relating to race, place, ethnicity, history, music, foodways and the arts, revealing the complicated identity of Vicksburg.
This project will illuminate the cultural contributions of Native Americans and African Americans, and how their food traditions intersected with Europeans, resulting in a complex array of Foodways. Culinary creativity in this port city is unique; National and International cultural influences such as Italian, Mexican and Middle Eastern are found in church communities as well as local restaurants. The Lebanese and Chinese communities that populate the region lived in Vicksburg to trade on the river before settling in the Delta. We will highlight these creative connections through the Foodways stories collected in the Catfish Row Museum.