Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

Unfortunately being born of a certain race often has a significant impact in your entire life. It may have an effect on who your friends are and who is likely to like you or hate you not for your personality, which is supposed to be what is relevant about your approval rating, but for your appearance instead.

Being born mulatto – with a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas – as is the case with Barack Obama – is even different from having parents of the same race, especially when most of the extended family that you would communicate with would be from one of the parents’ side instead of both.

Due to the inability to travel to Kenya at young age for various reasons, Barack Obama, Jr., the future President of the United States, was unable to communicate with his father’s family at young age.

Some may argue that to a certain extent his years in Indonesia compensated that, but I would disagree, as Indonesians are both racially and culturally very different from Kenyans and other African nationals.

This book is worth reading to people interested in what it is to be born bi-racial, among other things.

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance also presents the reader with decisions from real life that Barack Obama, Jr. had to face – most important of which, in my opinion, is his preference to become community organizer to other much more lucrative and profitable options.

Once Mr. Obama got admitted to Harvard University, there came another situation in the book that people of his background – being attached in one way or another to low-income communities like Altgeld – whether Altgeld is starting to get too narrow to his potential, and if yes, what he should do. In his book, Barack Obama explained how confident he was that he would go back to Altgeld, contrary to what the local people there were expecting and was congratulating him for his success, and how he would not understand their confidence that he would never get back to Altgeld.

This moment is one of the inheritance instances in the book, in my opinion. One’s feeling of belonging to a community often has the form of inheritance. And at earlier years in our lives we tend to be more attached to our communities. The question is once we grow up and see what our potential is – especially if it appears to be bigger than the potential that our community can give us – how attached or detached we become from that community.

Note: I have noticed several claims on the internet that this book is full of fabrications. This article is my reaction to the book, and is completely conceptual in its essence. Whether the stories in the book are true, almost true, half true, almost false or completely false is irrelevant in my reflections.

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