Clarksdale Travel Guide
Beside the Sunflower River in northeastern Mississippi State, Clarksdale is a city close to the state border with Arkansas that has made a name for itself as a major center for jazz and blues music. In the past, the city has seen some of the most famous jazz and blues artists in America perform. Even many of the streets here are named after the likes of John Lee Hooker and numerous historical jazz sites are part of the state-wide Mississippi Jazz Trail.
Fans of jazz music will not be disappointed in Clarksdale. Even if you’re not a fan of the genre, the hugely popular Delta Blues Museum is a must-see as not only a history of music in the area but also a history of the local culture. In recent years Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman has bought a five-star restaurant, Madidi, and a jazz club, Ground Zero, which have become hugely popular.
The area is also historically significant as an area that began machine-operated cotton harvesting that reduced the requirement for cheap Afro-American labor. Hopson Plantation, the place that started it all, is now a ballroom and motel with information about this important development in American agriculture.
Delta Blues Museum: the most important blues museum in the world that attracts regular visits from music stars and holds a huge collection of memorabilia.
Mississippi Blues Trail: a state-wide trail that takes in important landmarks in the blues and jazz world, many of which are located in Clarksdale.
Ground Zero Blues Club: an authentically rundown blues and jazz joint co-owned by Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman that has taken the city by storm.
Hopson Plantation: now a motel, this former cotton plantation began a marked change in the treatment of African-Americans when it reduced the need for poorly paid labor.