The Greyhound Diaries is a collection of songs, photographs, and stories produced by Doug Levitt, an American activist, photographer, singer, and songwriter. He was born in Washington, DC and attended Cornell University and London School of Economics earning his bachelor’s and master’s certificates. After completing studies in London, he obtained employment as a foreign correspondent filing dispatches for ABC, NBC, and CNN. Mr. Levitt left his works in London and returned to the United States to become a songwriter in Nashville, TN. In an interview on MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan Show, he shares the message behind his personal memoir that was aired on December 16, 2011.
Some of the questions Dylan Ratigan asked Doug Levitt on the show involved the message behind his piece of art; and what was most moving to him in his journalism for other people to share that experience with him. It was in 2004 when Levitt said he became aware of poverty and statistics in his own country, which was an un-reflected crisis. He began a one six-week Greyhound tour inspired by WPA (Works Progress Administration), a relief program signed by former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt under the ERA (Emergency Relief Appropriations) Act, in 1933. He also said the WPA projects provides a fuller picture of America and historic times.
When Ratigan asked him about his continuous efforts of The Greyhound Diaries Project, he replied by saying, “When you look at the poverty issue and observe the numbers were 35 million Americans living in poverty, in 2004, and increased to 49 million folks were the size of America’s 50 largest cities.” He explained that numbers are numbers and they have no point of human connection to move people. What he finds most moving in his journalism is the resilience of people in the U.S. with diverse backgrounds riding Greyhound buses from rural and urban areas. Doug Levitt continues his philanthropy efforts to bring awareness of poverty among the American people. Presently, he has travelled over nationally 120,000 miles on Greyhound buses for nearly twelve years.