Brandon Thibodeaux first visited the Mississippi Delta in 2009 while driving across county, on his way home to Dallas, Texas. In a statement Thibodeaux said, “I was aware of [the region’s] racial strife, and of course the music, but I had no real connection to the place other than curiosity.” What started as curiosity blossomed into the series, “When Morning Comes,” along with Thibodeaux’s deep appreciation for the residents, the land, and his experience being graciously welcomed into the lives of his subjects.
For five years, Thibodeaux has returned to the Delta, photographing five communities in a 15-square-mile span. In his artist statement he writes, “While this work makes specific reference to the rural black experience, I am reminded with every visit that these themes of faith, identity, and perseverance are common to us all.”
Thibodeaux was a first place winner in last year’s PDN Faces portrait photo contest for his image, “Mississippi 662,” of a young man in Duncan, Mississippi, with the local area code tattooed across his back. Click through the gallery to see more images from the series, and visit the PDN Faces website to enter this year’s contest. The contest deadline has been extended to Wednesday, June 4.