I had the pleasure of listening to the American President Barack Obama’s deep voice while listening to his audio book, Dreams From My Father. He reads the book he authored in perfect style with the necessary stresses, increasing and decreasing voice, keeping in par with punctuations and lively dramatizing of conversations in the book. It is such a overwhelming experience to listen to him.
The surprising fact is that Obama wrote Dreams from My Father when he was just 33, and long before he had any idea of a political career. By the time he wrote the book he was still at law school. He would have never imagined that he will be the first black president of the United States.
The book starts with Obama’s father’s (Barack Obama Senior) death in Kenya and how an aunt of his called him through a bad telephone line.
It must have been tough for Barack Obama’s father to cope up the social pressure when he married a white woman (Ann Dunham) in 50’s America. Both had met at University of Hawaii as students and the then existing discrimination against the blacks did not become a barrier for the two hearts to become one.
Unfortunately Obama Senior had to return to his original country of birth – Kenya – as he had no money to continue his university education. Before returning, he divorced his white wife. Obama was just two years old when his father walked out on the family. Then she happened to marry another university student from Indonesia (Lolo) and the couple took Obama junior to Indonesia where he spends his early years with young friends while eating dog meat, snake meat and crunchy grasshoppers. The life in this third world country gives Obama an insight to the life outside of the USA.
Obama comes back to Hawaii to attend an American school, Punahou at the age of ten. After college in Los Angeles and New York City, he tries to become a community organizer. But this job doesn’t last that long. He also tries a career in business in a business firm which he abandons shortly.
Sometime after his father’s sudden death, Obama travels to Kenya to see his father’s family lineage which he likens with the Alex Haley’s popular book “Roots.” There he meets all his siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents also visit their father’s Luo tribal lands.
After coming back to the United States, Obama attends Harvard Law School and becomes the first black editor of the Law Review.
One should admire Obama for being this honest when exposing his troubled inheritance from the family lineage. The other people try to paint a rosy picture of their lineages whereas Obama is brutally honest about his p that runs into a Kenyan farm.