If you want to get at African American poverty, the income gap, wealth gap, achievement gap, that the most important thing is to make sure that the society as a whole does right by people who are poor, are working class, are aspiring to a better life for their kids.
I had consumed a lot of American culture, but I was not quite prepared for the reality of American poverty.
There is a deep sadness to American poverty, greater than the sadness of any other kind. It's because America has such an ideology of success.
I think one of the most important American films is "Jackie Brown", which is such a humble depiction of humble characters but so powerful. The film was pure depiction of the American poverty of the 90s.
The psychological pain--and the ethical shame--of American poverty are made greater by the fact that this country possesses the wealth and the energy to raise all children to a minimally decent standard of living.
One of the things that struck me when I came to the U.S. was discovering American poverty.
I lived below the official American poverty line until I was 31.
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