Arts & Culture

A Look at Life in the Mississippi Delta

In his new book, photojournalist Brandon Thibodeaux shows a different side of one of the South’s most treasured landscapes

 

Brandon Thibodeaux’s journey through the Mississippi Delta began in 2009 with twenty rolls of black and white film and a 1970s-vintage twin-lens camera. “I thought if I came back with anything I’d be happy,” Thibodeaux says. After eight years spent traversing forty square miles of small towns around Clarksdale, he came home to Dallas with thousands of images, out of which he compiled his first book, In That Land of Perfect Day, released last month.

The book details rural Delta life, focusing on faith and perseverance. Taken in by the Coffey family in Duncan and a Baptist preacher in Mound Bayou, Thibodeaux found a commonality that comes to light in his work. “In my home state of Texas, I see agricultural areas all the time. I realized it wasn’t the landscape of the Delta that makes it so moving, or the timeless, romanticized, rural image of the South,” says Thibodeaux. “It’s the people.”

view as slideshow

BIRDS IN FIELD
Mound Bayou, MS, 2010

photo: BRANDON THIBODEAUX

CHRISTMAS ANGEL
Mound Bayou, MS, 2010

photo: BRANDON THIBODEAUX

BUD
Duncan, MS, 2009

photo: BRANDON THIBODEAUX

‘MISSISSIPPI 662′
Duncan, MS, 2012

photo: BRANDON THIBODEAUX

CHURCH AT NIGHT
BoBo, MS, 2011

photo: BRANDON THIBODEAUX

CHOO CHOO AND HIS BIBLE
Alligator, MS, 2012

photo: BRANDON THIBODEAUX

THE RIVER
Vicksburg, MS, 2011

photo: BRANDON THIBODEAUX

MARVIN YOUNG
Clarskdale, MS, 2009

photo: BRANDON THIBODEAUX

SNO BALLS & ICE CREAM
Duncan, MS, 2015

photo: BRANDON THIBODEAUX

CORN STALK
BoBo, MS, 2010

photo: BRANDON THIBODEAUX

MAW MAW’S NEW BRAIDS
Duncan, MS, 2009

photo: BRANDON THIBODEAUX

CHRISTMAS TREE
Alligator, MS, 2012

photo: BRANDON THIBODEAUX