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It Was All a Dream
A New Generation Confronts the Broken Promise to Black America
Reniqua Allen
Read by Shayna Small

Hachette Audio
January 19, 2019/ ASIN: B07M9LPGMJ
Nonfiction / / Audiobook -
Unabridged 12 hours and 17 minutes

Reviewed by Nicole Merritt


Millennialism (1980-2000) is waging warfare against the old dogma of the American dream. Forty three percent of all millennials are black and now engaging with this old standard. Blacks have always been marginalized, yet the new generation of the upwardly mobile is now forging their own path pursuant to their own idea of equality and wealth. Young blacks in their 30’s with children are still struggling to find their place in their America. There is a whole new range of black Senators, actors, and celebrities in the world today, yet everyday struggles of unemployment and workforce inequality is still a reality. There is still a stigma for blacks trying to prove their humanity.

Black people are discovering they do not have to define themselves in the same way as the white generation. Individualism is creating the new black millennial. Allen interviews a number of people to discover what upward mobility looks like to them. Do they have their own idea of the dream, and is the dream accessible? After countless interviews, Allen determines that black millennials believe that the American dream is not for them. Affordable healthcare, colleges, home loan access, and better neighborhoods need to change.

There is a constant believe that blacks are lazy and less intelligent. Young black Americans need a fair and equitable way to dare to dream. After living in New Jersey for 36 years, Allen returns to her hometown in Manning. Misha is a Manning native and relative of Allen. She has two Masters degrees and is married with children. Misha grew up during segregation and dated white boys. She knows of the Klan. She has a brother who is an electrical engineer. She loves her southern town. Upon her return to Jersey, Allen realizes she has not realized her dream. What separated her from Misha was simply geographic. Misha is content with her life, yet Allen is not. Blacks still struggle with archaic stigmas, name-calling, and ignorance. Shayna Small makes the narration personal. It is easy listening. It is an interesting conceptual read and brings home the plight of the new generation of blacks in America. The author does not conclude her research with a solution, but states simply, there is hope.

Reviewed 2019