Dreams from My Father

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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 life, regarding racial identity. William E. Cross’s Nigresence Model suggests that each black person enters five stages that enable them to develop a healthy and balanced understanding and appreciation for what it means to be black in America. The first of these stages is the pre-encounter stage, in which blacks idolize all aspects of white institution, believing that even the greatest black effort cannot compare to the least white. The attitude is generally anti-black and pro-white, where blacks are ashamed of who they are, and in my opinion, what they are according to racial identity. Thus, as these individuals hate their reality, they adore and may even envy the white reality. There is also the encounter stage, immersion stage, internalization stage, and internalization-commitment stage. The questioned presented for this essay asks what stage Barack is in at the end of the narrative book, and how he reached this place. It is honestly quite difficult for me to determine the precise stage to state that Barack Obama is in at the end of the book and today. I’d like to make this assessment without having my opinion clouded by various things that have gone on throughout the book. In my greatest attempt to do so, I believe that...
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