The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area describes the Delta as "the land where the Blues began, where Rock and Roll was created and where Gospel remains a vibrant art. It is an agricultural region where cotton was once king, and where 'precision-ag' rules today. It is a place that saw the struggles of the Civil War and the cultural revolution of the Civil Rights Movement. It is the home of the Great Migration, and a land of rich culinary, religious, artistic and literary heritage."
The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area designation was achieved through the efforts of many people over a 10-year period. Recognizing the Mississippi Delta as a unique landscape, which has created a distinct culture and unusually rich in heritage stories, efforts began in 2003 to organize partners to promote National Heritage Area designation which must be given by an act of Congress. In 2009, this goal was achieved when legislation was sponsored by Rep. Bennie Thompson, Senator Thad Cochran, and Senator Roger Wicker. Following Congressional designation, the legislation was signed into law as part of the Omnibus Federal Land Management Act of 2009. The act was signed by President Obama on March 30, 2009.
This Heritage Area includes the following sites:
- Vicksburg National Military Park
- Bryant’s Grocery Store
- Town of Friars Point Historic District
- Historic Downtown Como
- Jim Henson Museum
- Dockery Farms
- Holmes County Courthouse Historic Place
- Delta National Forest
- Delta Blues Museum
- Delta Center for Culture and Learning
- Highway 61 Blues Museum
- GRAMMY Museum Mississippi
- B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center