Dreams of my father has taken me on a journey of discovery and reflection I had not expected. Over the next couple of days I would like to try and present a couple of those ideas to you. Obama touches upon many issues I myself have had, or have seen other people struggle with. What does it mean to be me? Who am I relation to you? Must I see myself in relation to you? He challenges the reader to search, feel and push themselves beyond a passive existence.
My focus of the novel is the way he deals with the issue of ‘blackness’. One thing that the Americans manage to do is to speak about being black freely and openly. It is a brave comparison I dare to make between the black British experience and the African American one (the labels alone are problematic) but try and over look that and see the basic point being made: the African American experience has a louder voice today than the black British one. There are several valid reasons for this and the point of this note is not to explore those. On the contrary it is to show how Obama manages to craft the black experience in such a way that manages to reach out to many people on several layers. Unlike my less than elegant description of blackness, Obama manages to glide through the human experience and add a range of colour tones as he moves along, carefully adjusting the tones to create a perfect picture.