Cover image for It was all a dream : a new generation confronts the broken promise to Black America
Title:
It was all a dream : a new generation confronts the broken promise to Black America
ISBN:
9781568585864
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Nation Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, 2019.
Physical Description:
viii, 359 pages ; 25 cm
Contents:
We out -- Millennial moment : Katrina -- Don't double down on stupid -- Millennial moment : two lives -- Red lips and nails -- Millennial moment : Queens -- Tryin' to eat -- Millennial moment : 40 acres -- Painted walls and temples -- Millennial moment : that craving -- Bad and bougee -- Millennial moment : 5-0 -- Applause -- Millennial moment : Russian roulette -- Still in love -- Millennial moment : catch-22 -- Breathe -- Millennial moment : the day after.
Summary:
"In the last few decades, any hope of economic progress for black Americans has been slowly and steadily undermined. This quiet crisis was only exacerbated by the recession, which cut black households' wealth by over 30 percent. Black millennials watched their parents try to play by the rules, buying homes and aspiring to the trappings of middle-class life, only to sink deeper and deeper into debt. Now, in the post-Obama era, young black Americans face a critical turning point, as they try to realize dreams too long deferred... Allen interweaves reflections on defining moments, from Hurricane Katrina to the murder of Michael Brown to the election of Donald Trump. Together, the lives and reflections in these pages offer a portrait of a generation on the brink, tracing their efforts to build their own futures and write their own history"-- Provided by publisher.
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Book 330.9 Allen
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Book 330.9 Allen
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Book 330.9 Allen
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Summary

Summary

In the last few decades, any hope of economic progress for black Americans has been slowly and steadily undermined. This quiet crisis was only exacerbated by the recession, which cut black households' wealth by over 30 percent. Black millennials watched their parents try to play by the rules, buying homes and aspiring to the trappings of middle-class life, only to sink deeper and deeper into debt. Now, in the post-Obama era, young black Americans face a critical turning point, as they try to realize dreams too long deferred.

In It Was All a Dream , Reniqua Allen tells the stories--too often overlooked--of black millennials struggling, innovating, and flourishing. We meet a former college athlete burdened with mounting debt; a fashion entrepreneur who, like so many of her generation, has left New York for southern cities like Atlanta; a sex worker in Chicago; and an ambitious Republican college student who wrestles with being a black conservative on campus. Allen interweaves reflections on defining moments, from Hurricane Katrina to the murder of Michael Brown to the election of Donald Trump. Together, the lives and reflections in these pages offer a portrait of a generation on the brink, tracing their efforts to build their own futures and write their own history.


Author Notes

Reniqua Allen, a former fellow at New America and a former Emerging Voices Fellow at Demos, is completing her PhD in American Studies at Rutgers University. She has served as a producer for WNYC's United States of Anxiety, an associate producer for Moyers & Company, and a field producer for the PBS/POV documentary Overcoming: The Struggle for a Black Middle Class, on which she collaborated with Bob Herbert. She has been a commentator on MSNBC, NPR, and WBUR, and has written for the New York Times, Washington Post,Guardian, Quartz, San Francisco Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, Atlantic, and more.


Reviews 1

Booklist Review

What is the American Dream, Allen asks, and what does it mean to America's black millennials (whom she defines as people born between 1980 and 2000)? To find the answer, she has conducted some 75 wide-ranging interviews with members of that population from across America. She shares her findings in nine topical chapters dealing with such subjects as life in New York City and the current black migration from the North to the South, turning the Great Migration on its head and pointing out that Atlanta has seemingly become the capital of the newly arrived black millennials. Then there is student debt, the lives of sex workers, Hollywood fame, and more, all told through the lives of her interviewees. Throughout, Allen pursues her own version of the American Dream, finding part of it in home ownership, a career in media, and attaining visibility. Much of her book is, frankly, depressing as she vividly demonstrates the often heartbreaking challenges of being black in contemporary America. Attention must be paid, though, and Allen has done an excellent job of insuring that will happen.--Michael Cart Copyright 2018 Booklist


Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Chapter 1 We Out (The Reverse Migration)p. 11
Millennial Moment: Katrinap. 36
Chapter 2 Don't Double Down on Stupid (Student Debt)p. 39
Millennial Moment: Two Livesp. 63
Chapter 3 Survival (The Informal Economy)p. 67
Millennial Moment: Authentically Mep. 99
Chapter 4 Blue Collars (The Working Class)p. 103
Millennial Moment: Forty Acresp. 135
Chapter 5 Painted Walls and Temples (Housing)p. 139
Millennial Moment: That Cravingp. 168
Chapter 6 Luck (Black Professionals)p. 177
Millennial Moment: 5-0p. 207
Chapter 7 Fame (Black in Hollywood)p. 211
Millennial Moment: Russian Roulettep. 237
Chapter 8 Still In Love (Relationships)p. 243
Millennial Moment: Catch-22p. 273
Chapter 9 Breathe (Politics and Activism)p. 277
Millennial Moment: The Day Afterp. 304
Conclusionp. 309
Acknowledgmentsp. 317
Notesp. 321
Indexp. 343