Young Black Americans have been trying to realize the promise of the American Dream for centuries and coping with the reality of its limitations for just as long. Now, a new generation is pursuing success, happiness, and freedom -- on their own terms.
At a time when every aspect of the millennial experience has been dissected ad nauseam, It Was All a Dream offers a fresh perspective. It’s an honest account — buoyed by statistics — of the struggles of black young adults and the disparate racial outcomes ... Allen’s analysis leaves no doubt that racial disparities still define the American experience, even for a generation that white America once deemed 'post-racial.' Occasionally, Allen breaks character as a dispassionate teller of facts to unabashedly air her grievances. She’s not just relaying other people’s stories, she reminds us. This is her story, too ... in the aftermath of the first black presidency, It Was All a Dream is a vital book, a necessary reminder that this post-racial generation is anything but.
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.
Combining nuanced reporting with the intimacies of personal experience, Allen showcases the lives of black millennials, which are rarely portrayed with accuracy in mainstream media ... In this insightful book, the idea of the American dream is proven to be a fairy tale at best, and a nightmare at worst.