According to the Census Bureau’s measure of poverty — $11,490 is the annual income for one person or $23,550 for a family of four — over 45 million people fall below the poverty line in the U.S., the largest number on record for the country.
Following a preplanned route across the four corners of the United States, Matt Black began a three-month road trip, documenting over 70 cities, towns, and rural communities, connected by the fact that more than 20% of their residents fall below the poverty line. From the staggering hunger and food insecurity in the Southwest to the ‘Cancer Valley’ of Louisiana, the persistence of inequality in education and generational opportunity, and rampant unemployment and crime in the post-industrial Mid-West; Black questions what kind of America are we to be – a land of opportunity, or pockets of plenty amidst a landscape of disparity and despair?
Matt Black is a photographer from California’s Central Valley. His work has explored themes of migration, farming, poverty and the environment in his native rural California and in southern Mexico.