Down in the Delta is Maya Angelou's directorial debut. The world-famous poet takes us through the trials and tribulations of an African-American family who discover their roots in a rural Mississipi Delta town. Loretta (Alfre Woodward) is an unemployed single mother with a heavy drug and alcohol addiction. She is horribly neglectful of her autistic daughter, Tracy (Kulani Hassen) and her son, Thomas (Mpho Koaho), who provides for the family by photographing tourists on the streets of Chicago. They all live with Loretta's mother, Rosa Lynn (Mary Alice), who slowly grows tired of her daughter's carelessness. When Loretta leaves Tracy unsupervised for the umpteenth time, Rosa threatens to call Child Services unless Loretta takes the kids and goes off to live with her uncle, Earl (Al Freeman Jr.) in a dry county in Mississippi. Reluctantly, Loretta agrees and the family moves down to the Delta to start a new life.