What is My Identity?
Dreams from My Father archives Barack Obama’s journey, and struggles, to find his identity. Obama quickly admits that race is an important part of himself, and it is that quest of race and identity that pushes him to question his own uniqueness. Ultimately spanning both worlds of the vastly different cultures of his life in America and his roots in Kenya causes Obama confusion and self-doubt. It is through the steady love of his family that allows Obama to truly find acceptance and identity.
Linking the two very different worlds not only causes Barack Obama to find an identity, but to find an identity and take it as his own. Obama could be considered to be a “third culture kid”. These are children that have grown up in a number of different societies. They are multi-cultural and multi-racial. These “third culture” children feel isolated and like they do not belong. They are quick to adapt and are resilient. These terms describe Barack Obama in his earlier years of life. He is forced to juggle both the white America, which his mother raises him in, and the roots of his Kenyan family. It is this dilemma that bases Barack’s need to “find a race” and pushes him to further investigate and discover who he really is.
Growing up as black in the 1960’s in America causes Obama trouble and questioning. In an attempt to forge his identity, Obama attempts to raise himself to be a black man in America. Growing up he could not find that balance between the two worlds he needed. He clung to the stereotypical ideas, and played out a “caricature of black adolescents” in which he later explains to be a “costume, an armor”. Being black gave Obama a sense of self. Yet, in the self he thought he found there was a high degree of falseness. This falseness ultimately leads to more questions than answers as he sought self-actualization.
Barack Obama Sr. encourages Obama to move on from the path he was on and make his own. Growing up...
Cited: Obama, Barack. Dreams from My Father. New York: Three Rivers Press , 2004. Print.
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