6 pm: Fellowship Hour at story booth (438 N. Cleveland)
6 pm: Exhibition in the Gallery (422 N. Cleveland)
7- 9 pm: Program & Book-signing in the Gallery
Crosstown Arts and The Booksellers at Laurelwood welcome photojournalist Alysia Burton Steele to Memphis to celebrate the publication of Delta Jewels, her collection of portraits and oral histories of church mothers of the Mississippi Delta.
The event is free and open to the public and will include a program and book-signing with the artist, an art exhibition of photo prints from the book, live choir music, food & drinks. Several of the church mothers featured in the book will also be present.
Inspired by memories of her beloved grandmother, photographer and author Alysia Burton Steele–picture editor on a Pulitzer Prize-winning team–combines heart-wrenching narrative with poignant photographs of more than 50 female church elders in the Mississippi Delta.
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. With the help of local pastors, Steele recorded these living witnesses to history and folk ways, and shares the significance of being a Black woman–child, daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother in Mississippi–a Jewel of the Delta. From the stand Mrs. Tennie Self took for her marriage to be acknowledged in the phone book, to the life-threatening sacrifice required to vote for the first time, these 50 inspiring portraits are the faces of love and triumph that will teach readers faith and courage in difficult times.
Alysia Burton Steele has been a photographer for over 25 years and currently teaches photojournalism, layout and design, multimedia, and journalism writing at the University of Mississippi.