American Pictures: A Personal Journey Through the American Underclass (Film)

Haru, Terry T.
August 1986
Humanity & Society;Aug86, Vol. 10 Issue 3, p377
Entertainment Review
This article presents information related to the slide show "American Pictures: A Personal Journey Through the American Underclass," presented by Jacob Holdt. An everyday reality of poverty, squalor and fear in the U.S. is depicted in the show. For most part, these oppressed people are Afro-Americans, prostitutes and migrant workers. Holdt was inspired for this work when he started his vagabond journey across every state in the U.S. in 1971. The presentation is divided into two parts. The first part focuses on rural poverty in the South. The second part deals with the ghetto poverty of the North. Part one begins with slavery and goes on to depict racism. Holdt tells that while the North is not characterised by the heritage of institutionalised racism that is peculiar to the South, it nonetheless harbors a racism far more dangerous--the insidious and covert racism of the concerned liberal. Holdt's presentation about the country's underclass could easily be criticized as demonstrating a relatively superficial understanding of the structural dynamics of the class system in capitalist U.S.


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