The last couple of years, we have seen a lot of tabloid-grade pseudobiographies by people who claim to have dug into history and discovered another “sad” aspect of President Obama’s childhood. Only the content of the claims are not new. The latest snippet claims that his parents thought of putting him for adoption.
For me, a man who has struggled with the more fundamental historical, philosophical and spiritual aspects of this man’s improbable Luo journey, I feel great pain for him whenever I read another screaming banner about another aspect of his parent’s life. Yes he was raised by a single mother; yes he grew up in Indonesia among a people unlike him; yes he played basketball in a Hawaiian High School, yes he dreamed and did everything on earth through Occidental and Columbia and Havard; yes he found his voice as a Black man amid the struggles for South African Independence; yes he had a father he never knew, and the said father was a polygamist like most of his Luo contemporaries; yes he has cousins and stepsiblings many of whom are scholars like him, a few are unemployed. But these snippets do not define the person of President Barack Obama; they define you and I, American or not; they define any humanity, except they are louder because Mr. Obama is The President of the United States, and that is the point and intent of the various authors in pushing juicy headlines about their books.
My advice: If you want to know Mr. Obama the man, read “The Audacity of Hope” and “Dreams of My Father.”
If you intend to understand the workings of the Luo mind that raised the “tragic figure” known as Barack Obama Senior, why not start with the allegorical historical fiction novel, “THE LUO DREAMERS’ ODYSSEY: From the Sudan to American Power;” because then, truth, hearsay, myth and prophecies are served, “Luo style,” in one huge bowl for the probing mind to sort out. When you are through reading “THE LUO DREAMERS’ ODYSSEY” then you’ll know that, in this man of our times, you are dealing with a complex historical figure who cannot be defined by individual snippets of events in the past. http://www.amazon.com/Joseph-R.-Alila/e/B002QD5TDM