Hidden South

Hidden South

Humans of New York has grown to be one of the most fascinating photo journals of individuals living in the Big Apple, so much so that the creator has since branched out to create other catalogs profiling various ethnic groups such as Syrian Americans, Iranians, Pakistanis, and more. Still, no one has successfully captured the life of southern Americans until now.

Well, actually, until last year. That’s when Brent Walker created the photo journal that “documents conversations with the unseen.” The Hidden South is essentially a treasure trove of stories of individuals like Erica who’s lived in the Ninth Ward all of her life and been shot in the mouth and the stomach, or Tiffany who fessed to having a bad attitude, mostly because of the anger she holds against her granddaddy who molested her or, Chesia, a Louisiana native who just found out she’s pregnant with her second child.

Shocking, gritty, and real, The Hidden South shares the stories of the marginalized poor many of us walk by every day and either don’t notice or ignore because they frighten us or don’t belong in our educated, middle class circles.

Walker has already compiled some of the stories he’s gathered into a book which he said is about “giving people an opportunity to tell their story.”

“It’s about freedom from secrets, and healing by sharing with others. It’s about being connected with other humans who are presumed to have little in common with us. It’s about seeing the people that we walk by every day for the first time,” he explained on his website. Walker plans to deliver the first shipment of pre-ordered books by January 15th, and will donate 10% of the proceeds from the book to Backstreet Arts, a nonprofit organization that helps save lives through art. To order your copy, click here.


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  • [email protected]

    One of the signs of any society is how it treats its poor and downtrodden. The Hidden South shows the truth that poverty is a serious problem in America. Many poor people are poor by no fault of their own and we have to address poverty fro rel if we seek the tranquil, egalitarian, and progressive society that we desire. Poverty has harmed people of every gender, every color, and of every nationality. Some middle class people have a profound sense of arrogance in mocking the poor or ignoring the plight of the poor. Our leaders are right to say that the mentality of selfishness and arrogance must end. The Great Recession wasn’t the only event that harmed the poor. Many poor people have suffered homelessness, neglect, and economic exploitation for years and decades. The South is a region of the country that represents a large part of the soul of America.

    The South is the location where civil rights activists fought for change. Dr. King, Robert F. Williams, and even Fred Hampton all were born in the South. A lot of the slave revolts existed in the South too. The South is the location where the Black Panther image was used in the 1960’s SNCC inspired political party. Therefore, the people of the South who believe in justice, who love truth, and are fighting for a real change ought to be respected fully. As black people, we want revolutionary change and we desire not only the poor to be treated with dignity and with respect. We want economic justice for the poor, so terrible conditions are gone and human justice is made into a reality.

  • Lelani

    Poverty is a scary thing. It’s scary because no one can come to a consensus on what truly causes it, therefore we are all at risk. People do victim blame the poor but what is really happening is that people want to know why. Why with the opportunities for free K-12 and low cost community colleges are so many undereducated and therefore poor? Why are there not more anti poverty programs. It’s tough to watch people living in such dire circumstances, but we must look and try to be part of the solution.

    • Natasha Peacock

      Well if funding goes to the schools that have the higher test scores and if the poor schools don’t make the cut they get a smaller budget than the other schools in the area and in mental health services are available and strained in smaller communities. A lot of the southern states are republican ran and cutting funding for education and health/mental services are always the first to get cut when they want to “trim the fat”. Not to mention in 2000 in Florida Jeb Bush got rid of Affirmative Action and the enrollment for African-Americans have drastically dropped since then. The gap between the lower class and middle class is huge and don’t throw in the gap between all three. A lot of the states are either strong in the tourism and we know what those jobs pay and a lot of your military bases are located in the south and those towns who are lucky enough to have that get to a good boost to that local economy.

    • Lelani

      In most states, funding is based on property taxes, so yes, the wealthier areas get the best resources for schools and the gap in achievement keeps growing.

  • lis

    What fresh he’ll is this that they are promoting now?…Erica..shot in mouth and stomach….let’s guess what race Erica is…..but let’s gloss over this and just soh…..forget it.