NPR Series: American Dreams: Then And Now

3:11pm

Thu June 14, 2012
American Dreams: Then And Now

Nailing The American Dream, With Polish

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 6:25 pm

A model shows off an ABC student's work. Most of the students are studying manicuring.
Courtesy of Advance Beauty College

If you've had a manicure in California, odds are the person at the other end of the emery board was of Vietnamese heritage.

Vietnamese immigrants now dominate California's nail-care industry — and make up a significant percentage of all manicurists nationwide.

The story began with a hurried immigration after the fall of Saigon almost four decades ago.

Sparked by the interest of a group of refugees and the help of a Hollywood star, the demand for affordable manicures quickly became the foundation of the American dream for many Vietnamese newcomers.

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3:00am

Thu June 14, 2012
American Dreams: Then And Now

Immigration Law Slows A Family's March Forward

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 8:33 am

U.S.-born Angel Luis Cruz, the son of Dominican immigrants, owns an insurance company in South Carolina. He says anti-illegal immigration laws have hurt his business.
Kathy Lohr NPR

Immigrant success stories are closely woven into the concept of the American dream. In South Carolina, two generations of an immigrant family have worked hard to live out their dreams, but anti-illegal immigration laws have put even legal immigrants like them on edge.

Working Upon Arrival

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10:03pm

Wed June 13, 2012
The Record

My American Dream Sounds Like Prince

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 1:00 pm

Prince performing at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, Calif., in 1985.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

I was born in 1970, sprung from one of the most aspirational generations America has ever produced: The Hip-Hop Nation. With decades of rap music anthems dedicated to our fantastical transition from poverty to prosperity, we rarely celebrate our wealth without looking back on our meager beginnings. The American Dream, for us, always represents the possibility of success and affluence on our own terms — with a watchful eye toward our hardscrabble origins.

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5:00pm

Wed June 13, 2012
The Record

Tell Us What Your American Dream Sounds Like

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 12:22 pm

Axl Rose onstage. In American flag bike shorts.
Kevin Mazur WireImage

What is the American dream?

A white picket fence and a walk-in closet? Mobility? The promise that your kids will walk an easier road than you did? Bank deposit insurance? Equality under the law? Showing up to your 25th high school reunion with a full head of hair and a fancy title? A Murcielago and a boob job?

And what in the world does that sound like? John Cougar Mellencamp? Lynyrd Sknyryd? Bruce Springsteen? Duke Ellington? KRS-One? Elton John? Jay-Z?

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12:53am

Wed June 6, 2012
American Dreams: Then And Now

Grad Who Beat The Odds Asks, Why Not The Others?

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 10:07 am

Juan Carlos Reyes is studying for his master's degree. The son of poor Dominican parents, Reyes is convinced his success is an aberration and wonders about the kids from his neighborhood who were left behind.
Claudio Sanchez NPR

Fewer than 5 percent of Americans had completed college when historian James Truslow Adams first coined the term "American dream" in 1931.

Today, many consider higher education the gateway to a better, richer and fuller life. But for many kids growing up in poverty, college might as well be Mars, and the American dream a myth.

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