Mississippi Delta: Still the heart of poverty

In April 1967, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy visited the Mississippi Delta at the urging of civil rights lawyer Marian Wright. Martin Luther King, Jr. had picked Marks, Miss., the poorest community in the country, to launch his Poor People’s Campaign. Fifty years later, Yahoo News national correspondent Holly Bailey journeyed to the same region, and found that it continues to struggle. Her photo essay shows the lingering poverty and racial disparities that profoundly moved both King and Kennedy.

Photography by Holly Bailey

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<p>Martin Luther King, Jr., picked Marks, Miss., the poorest community in the country, as the launch site of his Poor People’s Campaign in 1968. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News) </p>
Marks, Miss.

Martin Luther King, Jr., picked Marks, Miss., the poorest community in the country, as the launch site of his Poor People’s Campaign in 1968. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

<p>Fifty years after Martin Luther King’s visit, the Delta continues to struggle. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News) </p>
Marks, Miss.

Fifty years after Martin Luther King’s visit, the Delta continues to struggle. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

<p>Lula, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News) </p>
Lula, Miss.

Lula, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

<p>Shelby, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News) </p>
Shelby, Miss.

Shelby, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

<p>Terry, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News) </p>
Terry, Miss.

Terry, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

<p>Farrell, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News) </p>
Farrell, Miss.

Farrell, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

<p>“Gone but not forgotten,” reads a homemade gravestone just off a cotton field in Glendora, Miss., the heart of the Mississippi Delta and one of the poorest regions in the country (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News) </p>
Glendora, Miss.

“Gone but not forgotten,” reads a homemade gravestone just off a cotton field in Glendora, Miss., the heart of the Mississippi Delta and one of the poorest regions in the country (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

<p>Batesville, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News) </p>
Batesville, Miss.

Batesville, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

<p>Brookhaven, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News) </p>
Brookhaven, Miss.

Brookhaven, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

<p>Greenwood, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News) </p>
Greenwood, Miss.

Greenwood, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

<p>Clarksdale, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News) </p>
Clarksdale, Miss.

Clarksdale, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

<p>The collapsed remains of Bryant’s Grocery, where 14-year-old Emmett Till was accused of flirting with a white woman in 1955. His subsequent kidnapping and murder helped stir the civil rights movement (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News) </p>
Bryant’s Grocery

The collapsed remains of Bryant’s Grocery, where 14-year-old Emmett Till was accused of flirting with a white woman in 1955. His subsequent kidnapping and murder helped stir the civil rights movement (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

<p>A sign for the Emmett Till museum, riddled with bullet holes, in Glendora, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News) </p>
Glendora, Miss.

A sign for the Emmett Till museum, riddled with bullet holes, in Glendora, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

<p>Shelby, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News) </p>
Shelby, Miss.

Shelby, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

<p>Batesville, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News) </p>
Batesville, Miss.

Batesville, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

<p>Martin Luther King, Jr., picked Marks, Miss., the poorest community in the country, as the launch site of his Poor People’s Campaign in 1968. Fifty years later, the town continues to struggle. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News) </p>
Marks, Miss.

Martin Luther King, Jr., picked Marks, Miss., the poorest community in the country, as the launch site of his Poor People’s Campaign in 1968. Fifty years later, the town continues to struggle. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

<p>Cleveland, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News) </p>
Cleveland, Miss.

Cleveland, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

<p>Greenwood, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News) </p>
Greenwood, Miss.

Greenwood, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

<p>Farrell, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News) </p>
Farrell, Miss.

Farrell, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

<p>Greenwood, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News) </p>
Greenwood, Miss.

Greenwood, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

<p>Rolling Fork, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News) </p>
Rolling Fork, Miss.

Rolling Fork, Miss. (Photo: Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

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