Poverty. Flooding. Inequity. The Delta is no stranger to these problems. Nor are Deltans strangers to coming together to face these challenges. In these photos from 2019, Delta residents embody the spirit of the region’s resiliency. — R.L. Nave
A radio tower surrounded by flood water near Mayersville Miss., Friday, April 5, 2019.
Farm equipment is nearly submerged in flood water in north Issaquena County, Miss., Friday, April 5, 2019.
Roddy Berry sits on a bench in Belzoni, Miss., Thursday, April 11, 2019. Humphreys County, where Belzoni is located, is the most audited county in the nation, according to a recent ProPublica report.
Travis Jones at his thrift store Thursday, April 11, 2019 in Belzoni, Miss.
Travis Jones is photographed at his thrift store Thursday, April 11, 2019 in Belzoni, Miss.
Jessie Parker, a native of New Orleans, sits on his front Thursday, April 11, 2019 in Belzoni, Miss.
Warren County resident Mike Brown spray-painted the water tank outside of his home with a message that reads” Finish the Pumps” near Redwood, Miss. South Delta residents are posting this phrase around the area to appeal to lawmakers and the EPA.
Flood water surrounds an irrigation system in the Mississippi Delta.
A corn field that survived flooding in Tula, Miss. About 220,000 acres of farmland were flooded in the Mississippi Delta earlier this year.
Billy Whitten stands in front of his farmland in Valley Park. Over a 1,000 acres of his land are submerged in flood water.
Olecia James, left, and Jasmine Shepard. James and Shepard filed suit against Cleveland School District for alleging systemic racism and inequality.
The Leland School High School band performs during a rally in support of the district’s consideration of a $8.75 million bond referendum that will fix issues in the schools.
Kendrick Lewis, 11, holds a sign at the intersection of North Broad Street and 7th Streets in Leland Monday, September 9, 2019. Residents will vote for a $8.75 million bond referendum that will fix issues in the schools.
Structural damage outside of Leland Elementary School.
Chase Reid works on a blues inspired piece during the Paint the Town event in Clarksdale Tuesday, October 1, 2019.
A large crack in the side Goodman-Pickens Elementary School nearly stretches from the roof to the school’s foundation.
A vacant farm barn located near County Road 298 and Schlater Road in Schlater, Miss., Tuesday, December 18, 2019.
Eric J. Shelton is a 2018 corps member in Report for America, and joined the team as our first photojournalist. A native of Columbia, Miss., Eric earned his bachelor’s in photojournalism from the University of Southern Mississippi. He was a multimedia journalist for Abilene Reporter-News, chief photographer for the Hattiesburg American and photo editor for the Killeen Daily Herald before joining our team June 2018.