Saturday 17 February 2018

Mary Kenny: Obama's mother had her faults but remained a major influence

Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

I admired US President Barack Obama's autobiography -- 'Dreams from My Father' -- with one caveat. It was so focused on Mr Obama's search for his link with his father, that it allowed his mother only a minor part by comparison.

Later, he admitted that he had given too shadowy a role to his mother, Ann, and has more recently conceded that his mother really was a "dominant" influence in his life.

Perhaps the earlier obsession with his father was understandable. A young man must identify with a father, or at least a father-figure. This must be especially true for an African-American, where, because of the legacy of slavery, fathers were sometimes weak, or absent, figures. Slavery broke black masculinity in many ways.

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