Barack Obama’s narration of mostly his father’s life story transcends many debatable topics such as racism and socioeconomic classifications. Topics such as those brought out literally as needed in his accurate and factual description of their lives but not to create any arguable pointers of discussions. Two scenes in the book that shaped this memoir as a whole and could be enough to make a thorough study on how Barack Obama Jr. seek his sense of belongingness and his finding a way to form an ambition being a public servant were: first, how his black father Barack Hussein Obama Sr.
of Kenya and his white-coloured mother Ann Dunham of Kansas, USA met, fell in love, got married and divorced; and second, his absentee father’s thoughts and activities as told by his mother and grandparents. Having been recalling his parents blossoming relationship could manifest a picture of success as he recounted episodes where his father’s intellectual charisma and ambitious thoughts won his grandparents heart irregardless of colour and racial differences after opposing Barack Sr. and Ann’s love story.
He pointed out that the only reason of his parent’s broke up was the lacking of money in which during that time, Barack Sr. couldn’t afford to take his wife and son back to Kenya. Thus, he went home alone to his motherland along with his ambition to complete a promise to serve Kenya and the continent of Africa, as it is the reason of his methodical studies in US, specifically in Harvard University. It was merely a patriotic deed and nationalism of Barack Sr. as he absolutely believed that Africa and Kenya need him and his service.
It is also noted that Zeituni, Barack Sr. ’s sister, mentioned that his brother really has a heart that was too big. As for the comparison of these two episodes of Barack Obama Jr. ’s account, it suggests love and charity accomplished in two dissimilar forms. Barack Sr. ’s love with his wife Ann and their son broke the difficulty of racial discrimination in which Barack Jr. brought out in the world and raised freely despite of living in the land of white men. It is the same as what Barack Sr. s decision to leave his family in US.
Barack Jr. made a justification out of his parent’s decision to be separated with each other that it was due only because of his father’s charitable instinct to serve and help Kenya because it is where his whole ancestors belong. Hence, who could say that neither of the two kinds of love is wrong? Colour difference has never been a problem on Barack Jr. ’s parents, and it is totally contradictory to the completion of the second story where the Kenyan roots of Barack Jr. ’s father has been an issue.
Everyone could agree that loving both the nation and one’s own family at the same time doesn’t mean sacrificing one for the sake of the other. As an effect of demonstrating these two kinds of love, Barack Jr. ’s journey to look beyond his roots and himself being a black man in the land of the white race created a similar motive with his father’s to serve his own country, though on his end it is America, whether in sociocivic works or in a political slot.
R E F E R E N C E
Obama, Barack Jr. Dreams from my Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. New York: Three Rivers Press, 1995.