"Dreams from my Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance" is a memoir written by Barack Obama first published in 1995. It became a US bestseller and was reissued in 2004.
This moving memoir is a picture of a young black American (Barack Obama) in search of his identity, a belonging, in a white American community. His journey is about himself as he painlessly takes his readers with him to find that identity.
Obama was born in 1961 to a white mid-western American woman and a black Kenyan student who came to the US to study. He was reared in Hawaii by his mother and her parents as his father left the family to pursue further studies back to Africa.
As a youth, although not lonely, Obama experienced that voyage to racial awareness, school tensions, along with his lessons in black literature taught in a white community.
The recounting of this emotional yet unsentimental odyssey of Obama's search for identity begins in New York when Obama learns that his father, he never knew as a man but more of a myth, has been killed in a car accident in Kenya. This event motivated him to pursue an emotional journey - first to a small town in Kansas, from which he retraces the migration of his mother's family to Hawaii, then to his childhood home in Indonesia, then finally to Kenya, where he meets the side of his father's family. In Kenya he finds out the harsh realities of his father's life, and ultimately, reconciles himself to his divided loyalties, heritage and culture.
The title "Dreams from my Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance" is clearly significant and compellingly apt in its telling: first, as a growing young black American, then having to confront the challenge of defining himself in white America; second, his work as a black American leader in Chicago community; and third, idealizing the father he never knew; and ultimately, reconciling with his own discovery of who his father and grandfather really are.
It's a poignant, heartwarming and probing memoir - the search for identity, and more, what it means after finding it. Brilliantly written.