Princeton University sociologists Kathryn Edin and Timothy Nelson have spent years trying to understand poverty and why families, generation after generation, can’t escape it. Their new book, The Injustice of Place. is about the country’s most disadvantaged communities, which are not in big cities. They are in Appalachia, the Cotton and Tobacco Belts of the deep South and in Southern Texas.
Edin, Nelson and their co-author Luke Schaefer explore how these “internal colonies” have been exploited and abandoned by powerful industries. Left in their wake are hollowed-out towns struggling with violence, unemployment, addiction, and a loss of person-to-person connection. Edin and Nelson join us to talk about the importance of libraries, community and religious centers, bookstores, bowling alleys and places where people congregate to help reduce the destructive psychological impacts of deep poverty.
We’ll also talk with education advocate Tamala Boyd Shaw, who founded a charter school in Greenwood, Mississippi to give students an enriched learning environment, something she didn’t have growing up in Greenwood.