Monday, October 01, 2007

The Black Baby Boomers American Dream - Do We Even Have One?

Boomers have a very interesting take on the American Dream notion. For some Black Boomers it means more than a white picket fence with a mom dressed in pearls. It has come to mean mini-mansions, kids with cars, shoes that cost more than a week of meals and enough electronic play devices to run a small country. It means succumbing to being the ultimate in consumers, but also not able to pass this fleeting 'wealth' on to their heirs.

What this will mean is yet more generations starting from scratch. Is this a good thing that breeds integrity and ambition or does it increase the circle of poverty? Beverly Mahone runs the stats on this phenom in her blog entry Black Baby Boomers and the American Dream and places the blame on institutional racism.

Perhaps its time for us to 'pull up' and take a good look at our lives and the alleged legacy we intend to leave (if that is the intention at all). Will the fact that we can afford a blinged out SUV or the largest HDTV available really matter if our grandchildren still endure the indignities of the Jena 6 or the brevity of life of the Newark/Delaware State victims?

It's time to re-tool the dream.

1 comment:

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

I agree with you. It's time to have a vision again.

I was thinking the other day that MLK had a dream, not a plan. He wanted to take us to the mountain top, but he really had no plan to get there, and he acknowledged as much when he said, "I have a dream." If he had had a plan, he would have said, "I have a plan."

Truth is, knowing how to go forward is intensely difficult. We have to listen carefully to each other, develop the best ideas, and then implement them collaboratively, one after another and simultaneously.

Perhaps some people pursue "bling" because it's the only dream we are allowed to have without attracting negative attention from the powers that be. Bling doesn't threaten anybody. It's effectively the adoption of white people's goals (consumption) with a different aesthetic.

The last Blacks with a revolutionary plan and the determination to try to implement it (however wrong they might have been about some of the particulars) were those of the Panther Party. And many of them were assassinated. Maybe that plays a role in Blacks' unwillingness to adopt revolutionary plans.