Ganesh's Reviews > Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
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's review
Dec 30, 08

bookshelves: memoir, politics, race-ethnicity, activism
Read in December, 2008

When Barack Obama’s father was a young man, he went with his father-in-law and friends to a bar in Hawaii where a man loudly complained about having to sit “next to a nigger.”

“The room fell quiet and people turned to my father, expecting a fight. Instead, my father stood up, walked over to the man, smiled, and proceeded to lecture him about the folly of bigotry, the promise of the American dream, and the universal rights of man.”

The man apologized, and he tried to show how sorry he was by giving Obama’s father a hundred dollars.

This story expanded my idea of what is possible. I was inspired by Obama's father strength of spirit and by the bar patron who listened to him, let go of his prejudices, and was able to see their common humanity. The story healed a part of me that was broken, a part of me that had grown afraid over the last seven years to hope that people could change.

Obama's campaign fills me with such hope for the future -- hope that the federal government will establish universal health care, repair our relations with other countries, and finally begin to seriously address climate change. It has given me hope that we could have a president who listens to us.

These challenges we face are great, and we need everyone to get involved to create stronger, greener, healthier communities.

What impresses me the most about Obama is his ability to empower others with the belief that their actions do make a difference. The record turnouts at primaries is a testament to his power to inspire action. His message has motivated one of my friends in Massachusetts to organize her college campus and another friend in California to serve as precinct captain. When I read Obama's Myspace page, I am moved by the young people of color who write that he has inspired them to pursue careers in public service.

Obama and his millions of enthusiastic supporters have inspired me to make a donation, phone bank, and, on Tuesday, I will vote in my first primary. Like Obama's story of his father, they have inspired me to re-envision what I think is possible.

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message 1: by Mary (new) - added it

Mary I totally agree...all people in the US are being asked to make changes that are needed...Obama is not our savior and will not perform miracles but he will encourage us and help us regain hope in our country and each other.

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