A Precious Paradox

By Imani Perry Spring 2010 These are strange days indeed. We are firmly into the twenty-first century, and yet the 1980s are haunting us. For African Americans it is yet again a decade of dream and deferral. Back in the eighties, for the young, black, and college educated, the doors of corporate America and other professions opened up and broadened the spectrum of the black middle class like never before. But also, back in the eighties, crack cocaine and the aftermath of deindustrialization crippled areas of concentrated blackness in major urban centers. Now in the twenty-first century, a new...

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