MSU faculty member’s newest ‘Hidden History’ publication spotlights the Mississippi Delta

Contact: Sarah Nicholas

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Josh Foreman, an instructor in Mississippi State’s communication department and advisor to The Reflector, has released a new book in his “Hidden History” series, the fifth in a series of works detailing the mysteries and unseen aspects of the Deep South.

Josh Foreman
Josh Foreman (Photo by Beth Wynn)

Co-written by Foreman and Ryan Starrett—a fellow Jackson native and Foreman’s childhood friend—“Hidden History of the Mississippi Delta,” a 2023 publication of The History Press, an imprint of Arcadia Publishing, takes a broad approach to investigating one of the South’s most famous regions.

“We explored Delta history from many perspectives—European-Native American contact, environmental, religious, ecological, civil rights and so forth,” Foreman said.

Tim Kalich, publisher of the Greenwood Commonwealth, said in his foreword, “Foreman and Starrett come to the paradoxical region with an outsider’s point of view, but not too far outside, having both grown up in the Jackson area. Their take on the Delta, captured in 10 captivating stories, leads their narrative in directions both familiar and not so familiar.”

Kalich continued, “The authors cover lots of terrain, from the torturous 16th century expedition into the region by Spain’s Hernando De Soto to recent efforts to canonize a beloved Catholic nun, Sister Thea Bowman. In between they share stories about how this once vast forested wilderness was tamed and how it regularly rebels such taming with massive floods of the Mississippi River. They remind us of some of the casualties that civilization exacted on the region, such as the extinction of the red wolf. They offer some lighter fare, including how the Delta turned the tamale into an ethnic culinary mélange of Mexican, African American and even Italian influences. Most importantly, they explore that which is most central to the Delta’s identity—race.”

The authors will sign copies of the book on April 8 at Lemuria Books in Jackson.

Foreman and Starrett are planning future books about the North Mississippi region. More information about the duo is available at

Foreman and Starrett’s “Hidden History” series includes 2018’s “Hidden History of Jackson,” 2019’s “Hidden History of the Mississippi Sound,” 2020’s “Hidden History of New Orleans” and 2021’s “Hidden History of Natchez.” The duo also wrote “Dallas Tough,” another History Press publication, in 2020.

Foreman is a sixth-generation Mississippian and an 11th-generation Southerner. He lived, taught and wrote in South Korea from 2005 to 2014. He holds degrees from Mississippi State University and the University of New Hampshire. Starrett received degrees from the University of Dallas, Adams State University and Spring Hill College. After a 10-year hiatus in Texas, he returned home to Jackson to continue his teaching career. 

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