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The Delta Rhythm & Bayous Cultural District
Video Series

Jefferson County is beyond prolific because of the significant historical constributions which are connected to it. The poeple, places, and events have shaped a dramatic chapter of the tragic and the triumphant in American Life. Embedded in this tapestry is a subsection of Pine Bluff's downtown and the surrounding area coined "The Delta Rhythm & Bayous (DRB) Cultural District." While small in size, its soil holds the narratives of some of the most gigantic stories in Arkansas and in the Delta region.

Explore Pine Bluff has commissioned a six-video docu-series which unlocks the pages of these untold stories. These videos will be releases throughout 2024-2025 and will examine slavery and Reconstruction, enslaved runaways, blues cotton, cinema, and civil rights.


Video #1 - Tales of Resistance, Slavery, and Struggle (Click Here to Watch) - Chronicles the connection between slavery, the Jefferson County Courthouse, and the area now known as Regional Park. Examines multiracial cooperation during the Reconstruction Era and the exodus of large numbers of blacks from the area during the 1890s.

Video #2 - The Blues and Jefferson County - Highlights the many artistic contributors to the Blues from Jefferson County including the jook joints, dives, and clubs in which the genre was forged. Interviews and songs are included with Grammy Award winning singer Bobby Rush and Detroit Johnnie.  


Video #3 - The Runaway Blues - Illuminates the importance of enslaved runaways in the development of the county and the role of the Contraband Camps. Highlights the Battle of Pine Bluff. Closely scrutinizes old military maps to determine where potential slave quarters may have been and how this may have impacted the land.


Video #4  - Cotton is King in Jefferson County - Emphasizes the critical role cotton played in the development of Jefferson County. Examines the role of the enslaved and planters. Highlights unique stories related to African American women and Italian American emigres. Focuses on the significance of the John Rust Cotton Picker manufactured in Pine Bluff. Also looks at byproducts of cotton such as cotton seed oil.


Video #5  - The Magic of Pine Bluff’s Cinema - Unlocks the lost stories of Jefferson County’s countless contributions to cinema. Underscores the role of important technological innovators as well as actors, actresses, screenwriters and others. Also examines the vibrant landscape of contributors in television and stage who hailed from the area.

Video #6 - Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs in Jefferson County - Spotlights the little known story of the civil rights movement in Pine Bluff. Detailing the many direct action efforts and litigation strategies which were employed to help gain rights. Also provides a powerful historical backdrop focusing on the inordinate number of lynchings in the years preceding the Civil Rights Movement.

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