Last night, I attended a function sponsored in part by the Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola with the support of several local banks and area businesses. Our blues society hosted a social event at the Historic Club Ebony Blues Club in Indianola to welcome Teach For America corp members.
I was able to extend myself to several teachers whom I only had the opportunity to communicate previously via the Internet. Overall, the evening was a success. Over 150 teachers from various parts of the nation were in attendance and had a great time sharing and soaking up the “Soul of the Delta”. Jake and The Pearl Street Jumpers was the feature act. Several artists who frequent Club Ebony also stopped by. The legendary Mickey Rogers sat in with the band for a few. Resident session guitarist and musician, Jamie Potterbaum, entertained along with local performer Alan Jones, and our Republic of Georgia now Delta transplant, Levan Lortkipanidze. There were several other talented individuals to grace the stage that is home to our Blues Ambassador and Club Ebony Blues Club owner, Mr. B.B. King. Along with the great sounds, there was also great food. The menu included Bar-B-Q pulled pork sandwhiches, cold slaw, baked beans, potato salad, desert treats, and sweet tea – courtesy of Trish Berry and The Blue Biscuit, another area hot spot for blues music and of course, good eats. The staff of the 308 Blues Club and Cafe was on hand to assist during the evening as well.
The night was youth-filled and brought a renewed sense of vision and hope for the Mississippi Delta. This year is the largest influx of Teach for America corp members. The numbers seem to get larger with each school year. Several former TFA members have returned to the Delta and have made it their home. Many continue as educators or are working in the non-profit sector. From the conversations I had with those in attendance, Teach For America really works. TFA not only promotes education, but provides a means of cultural exchange and introduces the sharing of ideas among teachers, students, and parents which ultimately shapes the entire community. And from their experience, TFA members take with them the notion that each individual can make a positive difference. I am fortunate to have met several of you and look forward to working with you in the very near future on various projects to make not just Indianola, but the entire Mississippi Delta a better place. Again, I salute and welcome each and every one of you… and thank you for making a difference.