“Anthony Rice’s house in Youngstown, Ohio is a mile away from a river valley once filled with factories offering jobs. Many of those left in the 1980s, and with them, many residents.
His home is one of the few occupied on the street. Empty lots or boarded-up homes make up most of the block. He points to those remaining, listing his neighbors and their age. They are all over 70. “This neighborhood is okie-dokie, although not much goes down here”, he says. “Stores used to be all around here, but they mostly gone. The people left are either too old to move or waiting for someone to buy them out.”
The road itself is a patchwork of potholes. “This street hasn’t been paved in like forever. They just don’t care about us. But we used to that.”
Youngstown is the largest city in Mahoning County, Ohio, where Donald Trump narrowly lost a county Barack Obama won twice easily. That was partly because turnout in Youngstown – which is lower income, younger, and close to half African American – dropped by roughly 15% …
A lot of the US is like that. I have seen it all over, when I put 100,000 miles on my car before the election. I have heard and seen the frustrations of countless people – of all races and faiths – in wildly different places, from Nebraska to Louisiana.
To get out beyond successful neighborhoods in DC, New York City and the elite college campuses – beyond where prevailing socio-political opinions are made – is to see another America. …”
Here in the Alabama Black Belt, which is one of the poorest places in the entire country, I live in the very epicenter of that America. I call this place home!