‘My American Dream isn’t that much different than my parents’ : It is September 1978, the second week of school, and an 8-year-old boy with thick glasses is playing a handheld football video game at the kitchen table with his friends LaVelle, Gary and Lucius. The boy is awkward and curious. He has a lopsided Afro and a shy grin. He and the others talk about TV shows (“CHiPs” and “The Six Million Dollar Man”) and which NFL running back is better (Walter Payton or Earl Campbell), as they wait for a quick breakfast. The boy is me.

Homeownership has not delivered on dreams for African-Americans : In 1973, Hercules and Vivian Brown used their savings from their manufacturing jobs to buy a brick ranch-style house in the 4400 block of N. 39th St. The house, with four bedrooms and one-and-a-half baths, was one of the biggest on the block. As a welcome gift, a neighbor gave Vivian a flower planter converted from an old tire. It still sits in the front yard. When the flowers begin to bloom, winter is finally over. The Browns moved to Milwaukee from Mississippi with a simple desire shared by most young African-Americans: They hoped to find work, buy a house and provide their children a better, safer future than they could ever hope to find under the suffocating racial caste system of the Jim Crow South.

America’s New ‘Anxiety’ Disorder : Few Americans, at the moment, would assess our national emotional state as anything better than “not great.” We are not in the midst of real disaster, of course: no Civil War, no Great Depression, not even that grim bit of the 1970s that featured near-constant bombings and hijackings, a presidential resignation and two different women trying to kill Gerald Ford in a single month. But when the new president referred to the country as a scene of “carnage” in his inaugural address, the objections were relatively muted. There’s a bleakness in the atmosphere, and a consensus on what to call it: “anxiety.”

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