Homes of James Earl Jones, Otha Turner, and Dumas Malone
The Mississippi Delta is known as the birthplace of the Blues, the Civil Rights Movement, and a plethora of famous people. Located 40 miles south of Memphis, Tate County features the birth homes of a Broadway-Hollywood actor, a Bluesman, and an American historian. Born in Arkabutla, award-winning African American actor James Earl Jones is perhaps most widely known as the voices of Star Wars film series' Darth Vader and Mufasa in Disney's The Lion King. Otha Turner was a living link to rural Blues and fife-and-drum pre-Blues that extended well into the 19th century. Turner's friends and family continue to host a festival in his honor each August at his Gravel Springs Road home located southeast of Senatobia in rural Tate County. Finally, Yale-educated Dumas Malone was born in Coldwater and is considered by many to have been the greatest expert ever on the life and work of Thomas Jefferson.