1 month ago
Photograph by Gillian Laub (@gigilaub)
Hi this is Gillian Laub and I will be posting some images I made while working on the story, “The Rising Anxiety of White America,” for the April issue of National Geographic about Race. In this story I focused on two cities in America where major cultural shifts are happening - Hazleton, Pennsylvania and New Orleans, Louisiana.
In this photograph, 17-year-old Felyssa Ricco stands outside her home in Hazleton where she lives with her mother and stepfather. In addition to the American flag, her stepfather Jesse Portonova sometimes flies the Confederate flag, saying it’s a way of standing up to those who believe it shouldn’t be displayed or who want to disregard America’s history. He believes the Confederate flag has been misunderstood and stigmatized because of one “crazy person” in South Carolina. In 2000, 95% of Hazleton was white. By 2016, the white population plummeted to 44% while the Latinos became the majority. When I met Felyssa this past fall, she was home schooled. She said Hazleton used to be a nice place to live but she doesn’t feel safe anymore because of all the “illegals,” and in her words, cause all the crime.
Michele Norris writes, “The U.S. Census Bureau has projected that non-Hispanic whites will make up less than 50 percent of the population by 2044, a change that almost certainly will recast American race relations and the role and status of white Americans, who have long been a comfortable majority.”
#idefineme #confederateflag #hazleton