In "I'm Feeling the Blues Right Now: Blues Tourism and the
Mississippi Delta," Stephen A. King reveals the strategies used by
blues promoters and organizers in Mississippi, both African
American and white, local and state, to attract the attention of
tourists. In the process, he reveals how promotional materials
portray the Delta's blues culture and its musicians. Those involved
in selling the blues in Mississippi work to promote the music while
often conveniently forgetting the state's historical record of
racial and economic injustice. King's research includes numerous
interviews with blues musicians and promoters, chambers of
commerce, local and regional tourism entities, and members of the
Mississippi Blues Commission.
This book is the first critical account of Mississippi's blues
tourism industry. From the late 1970s until 2000, Mississippi's
blues tourism industry was fragmented, decentralized, and
localized, as each community competed for tourist dollars. By
2003-2004, with the creation of the Mississippi Blues Commission,
the promotion of the blues became more centralized as state
government played an increasing role in promoting Mississippi's
blues heritage. Blues tourism has the potential to generate new
revenue in one of the poorest states in the country, repair the
state's public image, and serve as a vehicle for racial
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