What does Obama learn in Kenya in Dreams from My Father?
The full grasp of Obama's identity is the central focus of the time he spent in Kenya. The comprehension of one's racial and ethnic identity for someone born of heritage that is not the cultural norm is always a complex issue. Obama's background certainly fits such a description. An absent father, as well as being raised by a White mother and grandparents helped to create a void of questioning, to a certain extent. This was understood when he was able to go to Kenya, embracing a part of his life that lay, up to that point, beyond his reach. The memoir addresses this with his exploration of what Kenya represented in his own life and how this is a part of his identity. At the same time, the exploration of his roots in Kenya also explores how there is an aspect of choice that lies in all individuals from varied backgrounds. While individuals might not be able to control their backgrounds or the parts of their identities that happen before their birth, Obama's narrative reflects that individuals can appropriate whatever aspects of their identity and background that they wish in defining who they are and how they interact with others.