Inequality and poverty have been a major theme for politicians across the U.S. for a number of years, but very few people have looked as closely at this problem as singer songwriter Doug Levitt has in ‘The Greyhound Diaries’. Levitt has a long history as a journalist and broadcaster with major U.S. news networks that saw him based in London; after turning his back on the life of a journalist Levitt set out to explore why 37 million people in the U.S. were living below the poverty line in 2004.
Doug Levitt had always felt as though he was an artist trapped in a career as a journalist and broadcaster; the death of his own father is often cited by Levitt as a driving force he tried to ignore that has led him back to life as a working artist. It was in London during his stint as a foreign correspondent that Doug Levitt began playing with bands and decided to seek a new career as an artist working with multiple media options that would eventually lead to him beginning his journey of ‘The Greyhound Diaries’.
For Doug Levitt the WPA era recordings and writings that brought news of The Great Depression to the people of the U.S. and the world have been an influence and inspiration as he has traveled the U.S. as a bus passenger talking to his fellow travelers on lengthy journeys. Doug Levitt believes the problem many people have with news about poverty and inequality is the fact many facts and figures are quoted, but the stories behind the numbers are rarely told as the lives of those in the greatest need are often ignored by the global media.
Doug Levitt has looked to use ‘The Greyhound Diaries’ to create a new level of understanding he hopes will bring a greater level of empathy between people on each side of the poverty line. One aspect of his travels that has given Levitt much encouragement is the way the people of America can come together in even the hardest of times to look for a better future that often begins on a long distance bus journey.