ON BLACK MILLENNIALS IN SEARCH OF THE NEW SOUTH [LitHub]

Over the last few years I’ve been trying to find the “New South” that young Black millennials like me are moving to. That Black Mecca of upwardly mobile Black folk that is so prominent in the Black imagination. But I can’t. I look for it every time I visit the South. Instead of a feeling of freedom and comfort, all I feel is the weight of a past that doesn’t feel so distant. I want to love places like Charlotte, Charleston, Memphis, and of course Atlanta, the place the SNL writer Michael Che called the “Blackest” city in America, but it’s been hard. It’s been even harder after Trump became our president and I see Klan and Nazi rallies and White power signs peppering the region.

The American Dream Isn't For Black Millennials [The New York Times]

The American dream, the idea that anyone can succeed through hard work, is one of the most enduring myths in this country. And one of its most prominent falsehoods. As I entered my 30s, still navigating what achieving the dream would mean, I wondered what other black millennials were feeling. I wanted to figure out what my generation of black Americans thought about the promise of the American dream and how we can attain it.

The black middle class failed Michael Brown long before a white police officer shot him [Quartz]

In the 12 days since the shooting of Michael Brown, I can’t help but think that I’ve failed him and the many young black men and women like him around the country. In a media culture that often portrays only the grimiest black characters or the ace students, I’ll probably never get to know who Michael Brown really was. I most likely won’t ever understand his complexities, his contradictions, or the myriad things that made him unique—the things that made him human—and some of that is my fault. Sure, I didn’t pull the trigger, but I worry that my lack of understanding—my lack of relationships with black youth, particularly poorer black youth, may have contributed to the disconnect and invisibility that surrounds so many black bodies in America.

It’s time to admit that America will never really include black America [Quartz]

Last week, after watching another black man die at the hands of the New York City police, I can’t help but wonder whether there will ever be true equality for African Americans. The number of African Americans that have been victimized, murdered, terrorized, shot, and left for dead seems not just to be a legacy of some bloodstained Jim Crow past, but a part of a present moment that seems just as bleak. While there has been some progress, the narrative of the black experience in America feels remarkably static, as if it’s just shaken up, flipped, and twisted for a new generation.

It’s making me question whether America is truly the best place for African Americans.