The Other America

Sasha Abramsky’s recent piece in the Nation, "The Other America, 2012: Confronting the Poverty Epidemic," recounts stories of hardship across the country, including a jack-of-all-trades recycling and mowing lawns to make ends meet in Clarksdale, Mississippi; a young mother saddled by crushing healthcare debt in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and a man on disability trying to salvage homes in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans.

These slices of life, along with stats Abramsky supplies like “about 47 million Americans—of all colors, ethnicities and backgrounds—are living at or below the poverty line,” illustrate the ever-growing gap between America’s wealthiest and poorest.

The Nation article feeds from Abramsky’s web-based oral history project TheVoicesOfPoverty.org (funded by the Open Society Foundations), which provides a narrative of our country’s invisible poor. In his ambitious and compelling audio and reporting work, he serves as a conduit, rather than the mouthpiece, for impoverished men, women, and children to tell their stories in their own voices.

Tell us what you think. What does it mean for a nation so great as ours to allow so many to live in poverty?

Add your voice