on time

Hazelhurst's hurting
Robert Johnson's been long gone
town's still got the blues


n.b. Technically a city, a county capital, Hazelhurst has a population that has reduced to less than 4,000 with a quarter of whom living below the poverty line.

It is the birthplace of Robert Johnson, whose songs made others rich. The blue guitar sign, just visible on the right of the picture, offers a clue to the substantial debt owed by the music world for the gift of a life started here.

From this modest town there comes some remarkable people in the line of medicine, literature and the fight for civil rights for African-Americans, not all celebrated, but it’s worth finding out about the Deacons for Defense and Justice, who were compelled to come to Hazelhurst in 1966 to confront racist violence inflicted on people of colour organising with the NAACP to be able to exercise their civil rights.

CLP 01/10/2022