Folklorist and history professor William Ferris will speak about “Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues,” his new book packaged with a CD and DVD, on March 16 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The free public program, at 5:45 p.m. in Davis Library, will mark the opening of an exhibit in Davis of 45 of Ferris’ photographs from the book, to be up through Dec. 31.
A reception and viewing of the exhibit, at 5 p.m., will precede Ferris’ talk. For program information, contact Liza Terll, Friends of the Library,
, (919) 962-4207.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Ferris toured his home state of Mississippi, documenting the voices of African Americans as they spoke about and performed the diverse musical traditions that form the authentic roots of the blues. The photos and text he collected are gathered in “Give My Poor Heart Ease,” published last year by UNC Press.
The photographs reflect the lives of people who helped to shape the roots of American music and define the blues.
The exhibit was organized and curated by Ann Stewart Fine Art of Chapel Hill. The photographs were previously on view at UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South. A second set will be shown at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans beginning in April.
The William R. Ferris Collection, including source materials for “Give My Poor Heart Ease,” are part of the Southern Folklife Collection in the Wilson Special Collections Library at UNC.
Ferris is Joel Williamson Eminent Professor of History and senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South at UNC. From 1997 through 2001, he chaired the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Book Web site: http://www.uncpress.unc.edu/poorheartease/index.html
Video: An interview w/ Ferris: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruZVkl-Rd4Q&feature=player_profilepage
University Libraries contact: Judith Panitch, (919) 962-1301,