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Synopsis

Into the newly-settled (in 1910) Mississippi Delta country comes Sam Schwartz, a Russian immigrant, one of the many wandering Jewish peddlers who comb the backwoods of the American South, a man fleeing an oppressive country and a painful past. He experiences an emotional rebirth with Leafy, a black Delta woman. Race Music (the original term for blues recordings) is the story of Sam and Leafy’s relationship, of the family they start and of a love betrayed — a betrayal that has consequences that will span fifty years and reach all the way from the Delta to Chicago’s South Side. Delta music — the blues — is always in the background. Celebrated figures like Charlie Patton and Bessie Smith and the fabled Robert Johnson are encountered as they create the Delta’s truest history and cultural legacy.

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