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The United States first black President’s life journey reflects the big world issues



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KIRJALÄHTEET
KIRJA KIRJAILIJA
Dreams from my father
Barack Obama
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 4 minuuttia.

It was surpricing to notice that Barack Obama was already an author before he became the President of the United States of America. He actually had published the book years before his presidency. He took the story to the very beginning and told how he grew up in poor neighbourhood and how his father got in to the University of Hawaii in the year 1959 as a first African student (Dreams from my Father, Obama, Canongate, 2004, 9) in the rather young age of 23. Obama many times referred how his family had to live with a fear of a lot of traumas, with economy for instance. Also the hierarchical life had its’ own background noise in their minds.

Obama reflected the times of his childhood and how there were situations in which the racial issues were very much present. For example how white kids were not supposed to play with ”the colored kids. Then through his mother’s relationship with a man named Lolo, Obama stated that he could not believe his good fortune (Dreams from my Father, Obama, 2004, 35). Lolo taught Obama how to always protect self first. That is how he learned how to deal with difficult people. Lolo claimed that Obama’s mother had a soft heart for helping out the poor and how Obama would become a man someday and needed to have more sense (Dreams from my Fathe, Obama, 2004, 39). It was a lot different world than what it is nowadays. The book clearly states how in Obama’s childhood the men were concidered rather ruthless and cold people. Women’s sensitivity was deprecated. The meaning of power was more of an expression of following the rules and not doing anything wrong. (Dreams from my Father, Obama, 2004, 47)

Obama’s grandparents, called ”Gramps” and ”Toot” in the book, showed the little boy how to treat people and they naturally played a big role in Obama’s life after his mother passed away in the year of first publishing of this book, 2004. His father, a once Kenyan minister, died in a car accident, when Obama was 21 years old. It was especially noted that Obama’s grandfather, a white man, had many black friend. That aspect showed the way how the world was changing from the early days of his life in Africa. One good example of the race issue normalization was, when Obama’s grandfather took him to a bar, where he was the only white person and nobody minded (Dreams from my Father, Obama, 2004, 77).

Later in the book Obama remembered his experiene with a famous civil rights activist Ruby Bridges. They went to a concert, in which seven black ladies were singing their hearts out about the men that had loved them, betrayed them, raped them and embraced them. The race issue was again raised, when Obama recalled how they left the venue with complete silence, even though other crowd members were cheering wildly. (Dreams from my Father, Obama, 2004, 206). It was quite surpricing, how deeply the book covered an average human life with all its’ raw authencity. A story about a girl jumping of a building was a reminder about how most of the times people do not bother themselves about somebody elses concerns. How the young girl took the elevator with some others, who probably just judged her by unique looks (Dreams from my Father, Obama, 2004, 250)

The book was not only a great mans’ great story from rags to riches in both senses –  wealth and mental capital. It was also a cross-section of different worlds and eras. How the soon-to-be President of the United States of America did develop his person with a rather rough disciplined black and white world. Obama told about an encounter with four young guys playing music too loud nearby from where he lived. Obama knew that his neighbours had just had a baby. He went to handle the situation and had all these memories coming back from school fights and disfunctional behaviour. He decided to deal with the youngsters with calmness and reasonability, because he knew that the boys most likely need to fight through some of the same issues he faced as a teenager (Dreams from my Father, Obama, 2004, 270). In the epilogue part of the book Obama asked Doctor Rukia Odero why she thought black Americans are prone to disappointment when visiting South Africa. (Dreams from my Father, Obama, 2004, 433). Doctor answered him that those people come to see the authentic. There was a meal described how all its ingredients came around the world, India for instance. Afterall the meal is African. That chapter summed up the development of Obama’s thinking and mindscape. How he had learned about the world and how to live in it.

 

SUMMARY

The book Dreams from my Father by former President of United States Barack Obama. He told his story by reflecting his memories throughout the most impotant people of his lifespan theretofore. He told about situations from his early life and how various people had affected his life – then he annotated what he had learned from his father, mother or other family members. The book was a probing of racial issues of the United States, but also the ruthlessness of human life, with all the poverty, death and social complexity.

Obama told the story in such a warm and intimate way that it was difficult to adjust ones mind to that he became the most influential man in the whole world. On the other hand, the world started to change, as learned from the book Dreams from my father, to the way that authoritarian leadership vanished from the world. It is truly a fact that Barack Obama’s life began only 21 years after the World War II. His father, who was a great source of the memoir, was born in 1936, so he was a toddler in the times of war. That history put into perspective recapitulates the causations in the first black President’s of the United States story.

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