Looking for America

An Associated Press team travels across America to take the pulse of the nation in 2020 amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, raging unemployment, protests, racial reckoning and a turbulent election.

In the first part of the journey, the team travels to Appalachian Ohio, where President Lyndon B. Johnson gave his Great Society speech in launching his anti-poverty programs, and to southern Illinois to write about so-called “sundown” towns, where Black Americans often still aren’t welcome to venture out after dark, or even to live. The team’s route takes them to Georgia and Mississippi, and then onto the West, as they look for windows into a country that can seem so contradictory, so confusing.

AP Road Trip: In Mississippi, Black Voters Face Many Hurdles

The opposition to Black voters in Mississippi has changed since the 1960s, but it hasn’t ended. On the eve of the most divisive presidential election in decades, voters face obstacles such as state-mandated ID laws that mostly affect poor and minority communities and the disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of formerly incarcerated people.