Katherine Newman

The 2000 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award went to Anthony Sampson for Mandela and Katherine Newman for No Shame in My Game.

Katherine Newman’s No Shame in My Game: The Working Poor in the Inner City challenges many of the assumptions surrounding poverty in America. For two years, Newman, a professor of urban studies at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and her research assistants focused on 300 workers and job-seekers at four fast-food restaurants in Harlem, one of the nation’s most depressed urban areas. Their results revealed that contrary to popular opinion, America’s working poor are committed to earning a living and supporting themselves despite the ready alternatives of crime and welfare. No Shame in My Game reveals the essential contribution that low-wage earners make to the survival of poor households and the ways in which these jobs affect young people’s attitudes, prospects, and self-image.