Sacred Space: Photographs from the Mississippi Delta by Tom Rankin (review)

Sacred Space: Photographs from the Mississippi Delta by Tom Rankin (University Press of Mississippi, 1993)

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Sacred Space: Photographs from the Mississippi Delta by Tom Rankin (review)

by Susan Kidd
Southern Cultures, Vol. 1, No. 4: Southern Humor

University Press of Mississippi, 1993

Growing up in Georgia, we attended my father’s “country” church on occasion during the year and always on “First Sunday”—the church’s homecoming that fell on the first Sunday of each August. There were some differences between my father’s church and the “city” church (in a town with a population of about 12,000) I regularly attended with my mother: the rituals were simpler, the messages more personal, and the voices less inhibited. Tom Rankin’s excellent photographs in Sacred Space document these traits of rural religious institutions in the South and record those specific to African American culture. Rankin’s introductory essay and Charles Reagan Wilson’s foreword guide us through the historic and spiritual significance of these buildings, cemeteries, and rituals.