Dreams from My Father Essay

1313 Words Apr 25th, 2012 6 Pages
Essay: Dreams From My Father

Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father is exactly what it claims to be by title, a story of race and identity. Barack Obama comes from a diverse background, which he explores throughout the book. Having a white American mother and black Kenyan father, he has a different experience than the majority of people in society when it comes to race and identity, however still it seems similar to the experience of many blacks as described in William E. Cross’s Black Psychological theory, the Nigresence Model of Racial Identity Development. While Obama’s experience does not necessarily occur in chronological order according to Cross’s model, in my opinion, it portrays a good example of how someone enters each stage of
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At this stage, it is suggested that an individual sees him or herself as part of the entire human family, proud to be black, but not limited to blackness. The individual sees people only as people, not as black people, or white people, etc. Furthermore, one thing that pertains particularly to Barack, in my opinion, is that individuals in this stage enjoy regular company of a wide array of people and most importantly fight for a wide array of causes, which are not specific to race.
Getting to this place was a journey for Obama just as it is for all others, in my opinion. My perception of the encounter, for Barack, was neither horribly negative, nor very positive. He was simply lost, it seemed. As a young child attending a prestigious school in Hawaii, Barack Obama was cared for by his white American mother and grandparents, but was a brown child, having also a black Kenyan father. Barack was an outcast for everyone, being secluded from the whites because of his look, and having a different outlook than other black students at his school who held the view that they were oppressed by white people. It was far from sensible that the people who loved, cared for, and supported him the most could oppress Barack.
Curiosity was inevitable for the boy, however, and led him into what William E. Cross’s Nigresence Model declared was the immersion stage of racial identity for a black person. In this stage, African Americans basically submerge