Dreams from My Father, by Barack Obama

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In Barack Obama’s Dreams from my Father, many aspects of race, gender, class, education, etc. are involved in the life of the current president. This novel introduces and brings out discussion for further analysis into these categories of privilege and discrimination. Though certain categories have caused great adversity for Barack Obama, he is still able to overcome his minority group due to the other privileged groups that he is in. In the autobiography, Obama entails on the beginning journey of his life from early childhood to young adulthood. The novel begins with him finding out from his aunt that his father has passed away in Nairobi. Obama’s father left him and his mother when he was only 2 years old. Obama then talks about the family he grew up with, his mother and grandparents, and the racism they dealt with at a time when few accepted interracial relations and even more so marriages. He recalls being made fun of as a young child when other kids would make monkey noises when it was discovered his father was from Kenya. He then moves to Indonesia when his mother remarries, but then at 10 years old moves back to Hawaii where he spent his early childhood. It was with his grandparents that he developed much of his character and learned how strongly education was emphasized in his family. Obama also talks about how fascinated he was with by his father. As he grows a bit older into adolescence, Obama learns more about race relations and reads the book Heart of Darkness. This book helps him to see how white people look at black people, as a white man wrote the book talking about black people. He also delves into his marijuana use, which he used to help him during this confusing and rough period in his life. Obama’s story then ... ... middle of paper ... ... because if a woman were to act “like a white man (the dominant group),” then she would still be criticized for not being “womanly” enough. There are different factors such as these which impact overcoming the minority group or groups one is in. Another such example is black women. There have never been any black women close to winning the presidency or even their primaries. In American culture, black women are stereotyped to be nannies and are not taken seriously. This is because they suffer from both racial and gender minority groups. Ultimately, because Barack Obama is male, was raised in a white middle class family, and is educated allowed him to overcome his one minority category. Works Cited Johnson, Allan. Privilege, Power, and Difference. New York: Mcgraw-Hill, 2006. Print. Obama, Barack. Dreams from My Father. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2004. Print.

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