An American Dilemma, Revisted
In 1944 Gunnar Myrdal, a Swedish sociologist, published the book ‘An American Dilemma’. Myrdal argued America’s dilemma was the contrasting ideals of justice and equal opportunities, on which America was founded, compared to the racial inequality faced by Black America at the time. Myrdal attempted to trace discrimination and show its effects on society.
Since 2011, I have been photographing violence, poverty and racial disparity in cities throughout the United States. The dilemma that Gunnar Myrdal argued, in his book from the 40s, is still evident today in many aspects of black life. A disproportionate number of deaths, a growing wealth gap, inequalities in employment, the criminal justice system and education are all problems constantly faced by African American communities living in America. The paradigm of inequality continues to become normality in the United States, often considered one of the greatest countries in the world. This dilemma incites violence and unrest that create lasting physical and psychological effects on many. ‘An American Dilemma, Revisited’ is a document of those who live in this current state of inequality.
About the Photographer
Andrew Renneisen (b.1992) is an American freelance documentary photographer based in Brooklyn, who is interested in documenting conflict, race, and social issues , both domestically and internationally. He is represented by Getty Images Reportage and is a frequent contributor to The New York Times.
Prior to moving to New York City, Andrew attended the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University with focuses on photography and information management & technology. Andrew has interned at The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Press of Atlantic City, and The Wilmington News Journal.
Andrew’s work has been published in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Mother Jones, Rolling Stone, Stern, TIME, amongst others. He has been honored with awards from American Photography, The Hearst Foundation, College Photographer of the Year and The Alexia Foundation.