Rebel is Rebecca Carroll's regular column on race and pop culture. You can hear Rebecca talk about these issues with guests on Wednesday mornings on WNYC, or participate in one of Rebel's monthly conversations in The Greene Space.
We read a lot of reports about how millennials are the largest and most diverse generation currently living in the U.S.; how stressed out and overworked and broke and entitled they are. But we don't often read about the differences between how black and white millennials experience their lives—in fact, we almost never read about black millennials at all.
In her new book, It Was All a Dream: A New Generation Confronts the Broken Promise to Black America, journalist Reniqua Allen weaves her own experience into interviews with black millennials and reporting to create a comprehensive portrait of these young people at a pivotal moment in history. Also, the title is dope. And if you don't know why, you're about to.
Listen to Rebecca Carroll and Reniqua Allen discuss "It Was All a Dream" on WNYC:
"I think the American dream is this idea that we have been telling ourselves centuries about America, that it is this place of great hope and great opportunity when America was really founded on slaughter of Native Americans and enslavement of African people," Allen said. "America is really problematic, but this one thing that I do think seems to unite us is that you can move up no matter where you come from, no mater your background, your race, your sex… Obviously that’s not true, but it’s this myth we tell ourselves over and over."
Rebecca Carroll is a cultural critic and Editor of Special Projects at WNYC, where she develops, produces and hosts a broad array of multi-platform content, including podcasts, live events and on-air broadcasts. Rebecca is also a critic at large for the Los Angeles Times, and a regular columnist at Shondaland in addition to Gothamist. She is the author of several interview-based books about race and blackness in America, including the award-winning Sugar in the Raw, and her personal essays, cultural commentary and opinion pieces have been published widely.