Geography of Poverty : December

THE GEOGRAPHY OF POVERTY - A JOURNEY THROUGH FORGOTTEN AMERICA by MATT BLACK | MAGNUM - For his ongoing project «The Geography of Poverty», Matt Black has traveled 48,000 miles across 44 US states, photographing designated «poverty areas,» communities whose poverty rates are in excess of 20%, and highlighting the country's growing gap between rich and poor. - According to the Census Bureau's measure of poverty - $11,490 annual income for one person or $23,550 for a family of four - over 43 million people qualify as poor in the US. At the same time, the share of income going to the top one percent of the population has more than doubled since the 1970s. At the very top, the richest 0.1 percent's share of the national wealth has tripled. - «The Geography of Poverty» gives its focus to America's most marginalized communities, from the deserts of the Southwest through the Black Belt in the South, to the post-industrial, former factory towns running Midwest and Northeast. The work was presented as an interactive, digital package by MSNBC, with Black's images geotagged to a map of the US. The results are affecting: if photography can help to humanize facts and numbers, the map emphasizes the scale of the problem, and the spotlight on individual plights becomes a floodlight on a country-wide issue. Black was awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for the project, as well as the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Prize. (mg)

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