hawaii-obama

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Unformatted text preview: lit-4' .5" Continued From Page Al 9: E a: B a: a: :3 o... 20 m (D 3 ('3 :l" liked by everybody, a veryr char-is matte guy." And there was the outer Barry, the child ol a white American mother, Ann Dunham. who died in ions, and a Kenyan father, also named Baraclt, who left when Mr. (theme was young and who is also dead. That Barry. de- scribed in Mr. flbarna’s hook, “Dreams From My Father," was the one whose young classmate once asked him if his "lather ate people." who endured whispered racial epi— thets, whose sense of being a misfit m haunted him into high school, where at times, he says. he hid bmind a O haze of marijuana smoke and unhap- "1 pluses. “He struflled here with the idea on thatpeople were pushing an identity on him, what it meant to be a black (D _ | I-i-s man," said his. Soetoro—Ng, whose own father was Indonesian. |—| :- “He was trying to balance that hsmrlaletl Prose Bat-aid: Obama, third Jfrom left at rear, in lElTE with his filth-grade class in a photograph from Na Dpio, the yearbook of the Punahou School. Charisma and a Search for Self In Obama’s Hawaii Childhood By JENNIFER STEIN}!!! UER HHNGLULU, March 12 — To his high school classmates, Baraelt Etha- ms was a pleath il' undistlnguished student, the guy who seemed happi— est on the basketball court, the first to dive into the pumpltin carving at with a desire he already had men to name himself,” she said. “There were not a lot of people here who were engaged in that process. Their identities were more solidly as- sumed. Having a community dial: embraced you without question was something that most people had. But had to pursue those answers active- 1y. People from very lair-away places collide here, and cultures collide, and there is a blending and negotiation that is constant.” She continued, "I think Hawaii Cl El Halloween. the one whose oratorical prowess was largely limited to out~ debating classmates over the rela- tive qualities of point guards. But Mr. Dhama's family here in Hawaii saw a more complex young man, a person whose racial confu- sion and feelings of alienation were matched with equal parts ambition, disquietude and lofty notions about where his internal struggles might lead. "There was always a joke between my mom and Baraclt that he would he the first black president," his sis- ter, Maya Sectoro-Ng. said in an in— terview over tea. “So there were intl‘ mations of all this early on. He has always been restless. There was al— ways somewhere else he needed to so" It was his early search for a cul— tural identity on this plumerlavscent— ed island populated with people of div verse origins. but relatively lew blacks. that presaged his current per litical persona. his. Soetoro—hlg sug gested. “He couldn’t sit baclt and wait for the answers to come to him," said his. Soeloro-hig. the child of Mr. Dha- ma's mother lrom amther mar- riage. L‘Io i'etttaitts close to him. "He gave him a sense that a lot of differ- ent voices and textures can sort of live together, however imperfectly. and he would wall: in many worlds and feel a level of comfort." The political as rratlve of Mr. Oba- ma was written about 4,500 miles and a cultural universe away from here, largely in [llinois But the seeds of his racial consciousness, its attendant alienation and political curiosity ap- pear tohave been planted in Hawaii. There was, by the description of his classmates, coaches and teach- ers, their Barry, the one who still looks remarkably like his picture in his yearbook, smiling under his aim, or posing somewhat stiffly with other childre’it under a sign “Mixed Races of America.” That Harry has! a confident gait, a cheerful smile and a E average, “He had the same exact manner- isms then as he does now," said Eric Kusuriokl, Mr. Cibama’s homeroom teacher at the Punahou Echool. "when he walked up to give that speech at the Democratic conven- tion, we recognized him right away by the way he walked. He was well Continued on Page A12 he had lived in lndonesla, had a la- ther who was absent but whose pres- ence loathed large and a mother who had llvedin 13 planes." he a result, she said. Mr. Dbama, while “not a brooding young man — he played sports and formed close friendships and wasn’t overly seri- ous" -— often "wrapped himsell in his own solitude." While Mr. flbama has saveral half siblings i'rom his father’s other mar- riages, his Seetor'o-Ng, 39, is the only one he spent significant time with as a child He spoke at her wedding, and he sees her each Christmas when he comes to Hawaii. As a child, living at times with his mother and at other time with his maternal grandparents, Mr. Dbania stgaddled the worlds of a cloistered pnvate school and a comforting ii knotty existence among family members. accompanied by a cast at marginalized older men and poets attached to his grandfather and largely unknown to his largely privi- —-—-—.—_—,— HEMP ‘3 BLUE H “l PomlPlllD I zoos at Hoavrv ilh'fllilfil‘t’fi' 1VH0| 1y" salvo XHDA man are W1: ficncmEEP «Err 2mm w Emmi:me 0m wmqmor 0355 m” Em pus—.5- E0: morooE mrm Emlmémm Emu zmmluoow $.03 5.3. E SEE“: :wmwé OEmex mwimmmmm mmmqmfi Em” 3m. ficamrwgw mam rm rum :0" mwymm. 5an nEmmBmmmm. En. OEmEm. EEomm Emnmgm Ema EH Em :EEmamEE E Emma»? 2%. EEE Emnm o: >cm. m. 53. E 5%.. 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This note was uploaded on 01/28/2009 for the course APA 200 taught by Professor Musikawong during the Spring '07 term at ASU.

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