Tag: war on poverty

To mark the 50th anniversary of Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty, the New York Times has launched a new series dubbed “Caught in Poverty.” For the inaugural article in the series, journalist Trip Gabriel and photographer Travis Dove visited McDowell County, “the poorest in West Virginia…emblematic of entrenched American poverty for more than a half-century.” On visiting McDowell County, what…

During the research for a new essay I’m writing on the role of identity in Appalachia, I revisited Calvin Trillin’s 1969 New Yorker piece on the death of Canadian filmmaker Hugh O’ConnorĀ  at the hands of Hobart Ison. The case of O’Connor represents an extreme example of the public’s distrust of the media:

On December 21, 1964, nearly a year after Lyndon Johnson visited Inez, Kentucky to declare his War on Poverty, CBS News aired Christmas in Appalachia, a special report focused on poverty in eastern Kentucky. What reporter Charles Kuralt showed American audiences — just four days before Christmas — was a region beset by economic hardship, and families struggling to stay…

This coming January marks the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty, a milestone pointed out to me by photographer Stacy Kranitz in an interview that I’m currently working on. Kranitz’ work, which is particularly focused on photographing the people of Appalachia, is threaded with the omnipresence of poverty in her subjects’ lives. What’s perhaps most striking about poverty in…