Being Broke and White

June 25, 2017
(was 09.18.2016)

There’s a powerful new voting bloc in America. They’re white, working class, and they live in places that have been left behind. We'll talk with "Hillbilly Elegy" author J.D. Vance, and country music star Brandy Clark joins us in the studio to play some music and talk about her hometown.

  1. Hillbilly Elegy

    The kind of people who live in places like Jackson, Kentucky often get characterized as poor, white and angry. And worse, as redneck and racist – hillbilly white trash. J.D. Vance knows them well. They’re his people. He grew up in Kentucky coal country and the Ohio rust belt - places he left behind when he went to Yale Law School. Today he practices in Silicon Valley, but he’s just written a book called “Hillbilly Elegy," which should be required reading for this election year.  Welcome to Jackson, Kentucky.

    0
    Your rating: None
    5
    Average: 5 (4 votes)
  2. Big Day in a Small Town

    Poor, broke and white. Country musician Brandy Clark's been there, but she made it out. She’s 40 years old and won the country music awards’ Song of the Year and was also nominated for best new artist. Charles Monroe-Kane caught up with Brandy, along with her guitar player and backup singer Miles Aubrey, in a studio in Nashville, to talk about her latest album, Big Day in a Small Town.

    0
    Your rating: None
    5
    Average: 5 (2 votes)
  3. In the Century of Rust

    Poet Rochelle Hurt is from Youngstown, Ohio. Now that she's moved away, she misses home. And the rust. 

    0
    Your rating: None
    4.666665
    Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
  4. Smart Decline

    Youngstown, Ohio is the center of the Rust Belt.  During steel's heyday, Youngstown was a city of nearly 200,000. Now, it’s under 70,000. The steel mills closed in the 1980’s, people left, and no one replaced them. Steve Paulson sat down with urban planner Justin Hollander talk about what to do next - what Hollander calls "smart decline."

     

    0
    Your rating: None
    4.5
    Average: 4.5 (4 votes)
  5. The Future of Whiteness

    White Americans of European descent will make up less than half the population by 2042, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In other words, white people will soon become a demographic minority. Philosopher Linda Martin Alcoff says that shift represents a sea change in how we'll think about American identity. She’s the author of the new book “The Future of Whiteness.” Alcoff told Steve Paulson that before we contemplate the future, we need to grapple with what it means to be white today.

    0
    Your rating: None
    4.666665
    Average: 4.7 (3 votes)