Doug Levitt is a songwriter, singer, author, and photographer who has made it his life’s mission to tell the stories of people who are poor and downtrodden in America. He created a project called “The Greyhound Diaries” that tells the life stories he has been told while riding on Greyhound buses back and forth across the nation. One of the truth’s of the United States is that nobody rides a Greyhound bus to get from one place to another unless they’re run completely out of other options. By telling these stories he makes these people and their struggles relatable and, he hopes, will ultimately help with a solution to poverty in the country.
As he has been riding Greyhound buses for the last 13 years, Doug Levitt has traveled over 120,000 miles crisscrossing the nation. Riding the bus provides an insight into a part of America that most people barely see, especially on the nation’s more prosperous coastal regions. It was the overwhelming poverty, alienation, and hopelessness in parts of the country, especially in “fly over country“, that led Doug Levitt to successfully predicting the eventual election of Donald Trump.
During his travels, Doug Levitt has met a great variety of people on the bus including a neo-Nazi with a Hitler tattoo. As Levitt is Jewish, he was obviously rather alarmed when this person sat down next to him. As it turned out, he was offered a sandwich and told he could have the seats to sleep on while the neo-Nazi took the floor. This is an example of the underbelly of society that often gets hidden in our country. Greyhound bus riders are popular with people just released from prison as states tend to give them a bus pass to leave the area.Doug Levitt performs the songs he writes for “The Greyhound Diaries” at venues around the country including concert halls as well as homeless shelters. The music and stories of “The Greyhound Diaries” have also been featured on channels such as CNN, MSNBC, and PBS. It also has a website that features the music, photography, and writing that make up the project.